Imagine, if you will, a world in which Nicolas Cage had played Aragorn or Neo. That could very well have been our reality, had the actor not firmly had his priorities in order. He is one of the most recognizable leading men in Hollywood… and the face of some of the most memorable memes on the internet.
But, before all that, Cage is a father and a family man.
“First and foremost… there’s no version of Nic Cage in reality that doesn’t want to spend time with his children,” Cage told People.
“There’s no version of Nic Cage that didn’t put family first over career. I turned down Lord of the Rings and I turned down Matrix because I didn’t want to go to New Zealand for three years or Australia for three years because I needed to be home with my son Weston, that’s a fact.”
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Cage has two sons, Weston, 31, and Kal-El, 16. The actor and his wife Riko Shibata are expecting a baby later this year.
Cage went on to describe his acting ethos, and how he tries to never take himself too seriously.
“I always say to myself, ‘I never had a career, only work.’ What I mean by that is sometimes — and I won’t mention names — but when you get into this career-minded perception of one’s self it can be a slippery slope, and it can lead to things where you start believing in your own mythos and you start taking yourself way too seriously,” he said.
Cage has a new project, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, debuting in theatres tomorrow, where he will star alongside Tiffany Hadish and Pedro Pascal. Elsewhere, Cage’s Reddit AMA recently became a wholesome internet moment, and he also shared the villain he would like to play in a future Batman movie.
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Khayl Adam is a freelance writer at IGN.