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Nic Cage Made a Perfectly Surreal Return to Late Night TV

Nic Cage on Jimmy Kimmel Live in a shiny suit

Nicolas Cage is a fascinating man, someone who can break the mind of even our greatest film scholars (I’m speaking of, of course, of Community’s Abed Nadir), and while I, personally, think he’s the kind of actor who understands acting on a completely different level than anyone else, his movies receive a wide range of reactions.

His latest film is called The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent and explores a fictional version of the actor, named Nick Cage (played by Cage himself), as he struggles to find his place in Hollywood and with his family. To promote the film, Cage returned to the world of late night talk shows with Jimmy Kimmel Live.

It’s been a 14-year hiatus for Cage on the talk show circuit, and not because he hasn’t been making movies. He has, since 2008, made 50 movies—and no, I’m not kidding. I counted his IMDb page, 50 movies since 2008 that he could have promoted on the talk-show circuit, many of which probably would have asked him to. But he made his grand return to Jimmy Kimmel Live for The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, and it was glorious.

Here is a breakdown of things that Cage talks about in this 14-minute segment, because Nic Cage quotes are one thing and listening to Nic Cage talk about this stuff is completely different, so I will do my best to explain what he says, but honestly? You just have to immerse yourself in Cage talking about all of this.

His two-headed snake

Cage’s purchase of a two-headed snake made headlines some time ago, and with Kimmel, he talks about how one of the heads was more aggressive than the other. So, in order to feed the snake, he had to separate them with a spatula, and it just got too exhausting, so he donated the snake to a zoo. But that story also ushered in a conversation about Nic Cage and his pets.

He talked about a crow he now has, but he also is famously a cat man (something I’ve witnessed with my own cat’s obsession with Nic Cage whenever he’s onscreen). But just listening to him talk about the pets he once had, and how his people now know not to tell him about exotic animals he can buy, is hilarious.

Gambling and Las Vegas

Cage famously lives in Las Vegas now (which is funny given that he filmed Leaving Las Vegas in the Sin City). And Kimmel, who grew up in the area, talked with Cage a lot about the difference between the local area around Las Vegas and the strip that tourists know, but he also asked him about gambling.

That led to Cage revealing that he won $20,000 in one night, gave it all to an orphanage, and never gambled again. According to Cage, he was on vacation, and he kept betting on the same number, and when he won $20k, he cashed out and went across the street to the orphanage there, met all the kids, and then handed the money to the headmistress and said it was for them.

If anyone else told this story, you’d probably be like “Sure you did,” but it’s Nic Cage, so chances are that this really did happen.

Director Tom Gormican’s obsession with him

Tom Gormican and Kevin Etten wrote the screenplay for The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (with Gormican also directing), which follows Javi (Pedro Pascal) meeting his favorite actor, Nick Cage. During filming, apparently, Cage asked Pascal what Gormican’s deal was, and Pedro Pascal described Gormican like his character, to which Cage made the joke that th didn’t calm him down.

But it is hilarious how Cage talks about this movie and working with the crew, because—think about it. How weird would it be to get a script, and in that script you’re playing yourself, and it’s all about how beloved you are to fans?


Diane Kruger had told Kimmel about Cage owning a bat cave during the filming of the National Treature movies, and it delighted Cage that Kimmel brought it up because he then got to use the word “Spelunking” and talked about conquering all the elements and how it resulted in him and his then-wife drinking in the cave. Again, if anyone else told this story, you’d think it was all a lie, but knowing the amount of weird things that Nic Cage has purchased throughout the years, a cave seems right up his alley.

Was Nic Cage’s return to the late night talk show scene everything I could have hoped for? Yes because it was the kind of chaotic that is delightfully Nic Cage. And the fact that his suit reminded him of aluminum? Perfection.

(image: ABC)

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She/Her. A writer who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.