‘Awards Chatter’ Podcast — Nicolas Cage (‘Pig’)

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Nicolas Cage, the guest on this episode of The Hollywood Reporter‘s Awards Chatter podcast, is an Oscar winner who has been called by The Guardian “the greatest American actor working today, full stop,” by David Lynch “the jazz musician of American acting” and by Ethan Hawke “the only actor since Marlon Brando that’s actually done anything new with the art of acting.” He has starred in more than 100 films — some big-budget studio pics and others indies made for a song and a prayer, some giant blockbusters and others that went straight to VOD, some critically acclaimed and others utterly panned — but one thing has always been consistent: His own performances are never anything less than fascinating. In the view of The New York Times, “Unlike most movie stars — who are walking answers, machines who reliably fill expectations rather than confound them — he rarely does the obvious thing, whether in his choice of roles or how he plays them.” And as Vox put it, “Among American actors, he is inarguably singular. Defining his work is weirdly slippery; just when you think you understand what his thing is, he does something entirely different.”

More from The Hollywood Reporter

During this recording, the 57-year-old — who recently garnered raves and is generating best actor Oscar buzz for his understated performance as a man living off the grid whose life is rocked when his truffle-hunting pig is kidnapped in Michael Sarnoski’s feature directorial debut Pig — discusses what it was like growing up Nicolas Coppola and why, even before he was a star, he was insistent on playing parts in unexpected ways that very nearly got him fired from projects ranging from his uncle Francis Ford Coppola’s Peggy Sue Got Married to Norman Jewison’s Moonstruck; what led him to his Oscar-winning role in Mike Figgis’ low-budget Leaving Las Vegas, and why he then followed it with a long string of big-studio action/adventure movies — among them The Rock, Con Air, Face/Off, Gone in 60 Seconds and National Treasure; why, in the years since, he has worked so much, but largely under the radar, with notable exceptions including Spike Jonze’s Adaptation, David Gordon Green’s Joe, Panos CosmatosMandy and Sarnoski’s Pig; plus much more.

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