It’s a strange experience, living through the Nicolas Cage renaissance — which has encompassed everything from critically acclaimed work in movies like Pig and Dream Scenario to the publication of multiple deep dives into the actor’s filmography and what it represents. Even as Cage continues to do singular and unpredictable work on screen, however, he’s also dropped a big hint that this streak of beloved performances might be coming to an end.
In an interview with David Canfield for Vanity Fair, the actor — who had previously said that he had no plans to retire — seems to be rethinking that decision. “I may have three or four more movies left in me,” Cage told Canfield. And while that “may” does a lot of work, it’s still startling to hear that the famously prolific actor might be winding down his time on screen.
Based on his comments, Cage has his own longevity and family in mind, telling Canfield that his father died at 75. As he’ll turn 60 in January, it’s an understandable sentiment to have. “If I’m lucky, I have maybe a good 15 years and hopefully more,” he said. “What do I want to do with those 15 years, using my father as the model? It occurred very clearly to me that I want to spend time with my family.”
And there’s also the matter of his own artistic ambitions. “I think I took film performance as far as I could,” he told Vanity Fair. Later in the same interview, he also revealed, “I want to say bye on a high note.” That’s an understandable sentiment; it’s a shame that, say, Daniel Day-Lewis’s final film was Phantom Thread, but it also set the bar impressively high.
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That isn’t the only way Cage has been pondering his legacy. He also told Vanity Fair that the question of AI has taken his thoughts in a particular direction. “I’m thinking a lot about what happens to my likeness when I pass on,” he said — and stressed that he didn’t want his characters “to be put into a computer that decides what to do with them.”
Whatever’s next for Cage remains to be seen — but whatever it might be, it’s almost certain to be worth talking about.
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