The Oscar winner says it was "really scary" playing "Nick Cage" in the action-comedy.

Nicolas Cage is an Oscar-winner who has appeared in dozens of films and has a reputation for fearlessly throwing himself into roles. But the actor says he was "terrified" about the idea of playing a version of himself, an egomaniacal Hollywood star named 'Nick Cage,' in director Tom Gormican's action-comedy The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (out April 22).

"Two or three times I said no," Cage tells EW. "I don't think there was anything about the idea of playing myself in a movie... that was anything but terrifying to me. I mean, it really was scary, because I didn't know what the tone was going to be, so I turned it down. Then Tom Gormican wrote me a very enthusiastic, sincere, and intelligent letter about some of the early work and what he really wanted to do. Yes, it is a comedy but he also saw it as a celebration of sorts, of the filmography."

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
Nicolas Cage as Nick Cage in 'The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent'
| Credit: Katalin Vermes/Lionsgate

Cage reveals that he was motivated to accept the role because of a desire to explore "an idea of mine that is, if there's something you're afraid of, within reason, as long as you're not hurting yourself or somebody else, that's the very thing you should go toward, because you might learn something. I see myself as a student of filmmaking and film performance, but I also thought this experience was daunting, I was terrified of it, I always felt I was on a high wire, I was always very nervous about lapsing into the realm of mocking whatever I'd been doing, or whatever my so-called aura is in the public perception, the zeitgeist if you will. And what I learned is, I was right to make the choice, I'm valid in thinking go towards what you're afraid of."

In the film, Cage's "Nick" accepts an offer to attend the birthday party of Javi, a crime boss and Nicolas Cage super-fan played by Pedro Pascal with whom the movie star bonds over their shared love for cinema.

"The dynamic that I experienced with Pedro Pascal was very similar to the dynamic that you're getting in the movie," says Cage. "Because we both are cinephiles, we're both film enthusiasts, and we both enjoy talking about movies. And Pedro and I both have pretty bizarre senses of humor, he's pretty out there with his comedy, I never know if he's joking or if he isn't joking, and that's great for that character, Javi, because you want to never really be too sure where this guy's going. Is he dangerous? Or is he some kind of a goofball? And Pedro, as a talent, knows how to play that unpredictable edge. So, he was fun to work with, as a person I enjoyed, but he was also just really superb in the film."

Watch Cage and Pascal talk about The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent above and see the film's trailer below.

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The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
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