Cage first talked about meeting Panos Cosmatos, the director of the indie horror classic Beyond the Black Rainbow, and how the director originally pitched him the role of Mandy‘s cult leader – “A California Klaus Kinski,” Cage said of the role – before the actor ultimately signed on for the role of Red, the film’s vengeance-seeking protagonist. Cage’s frenzied portrayal has already been lauded on the film festival circuit ahead of Mandy‘s release Friday.
“I was affected by [Cosmatos], but we went our separate ways,” Cage said. “It wasn’t until a year later that he called and said ‘I think we should let Nic Cage play Red.'” Cage also thanked his Trust co-star Elijah Wood for bringing him and Cosmatos together.
Cage also praised the actor Ethan Hawke and his work in Paul Schrader’s recent drama First Reformed; Hawke and Cage starred in the 2005 film Lord of War, and in a recent interview, Hawke said of Cage, “I think Nicolas Cage is one of the few people in the history of acting that has really changed [the form]. I mean, he’s a true original—one of the greatest actors ever.”
“Ethan is someone I have admired for a very long time, not only because he’s the compelling thespian that he is but also because he’s a multiple published novelist and a great filmmaker in his own right,” Cage said. “For him to say that, I’m very touched.”
Cage also talked about the first time he met Hawke at a Lord of War cast-and-crew party and how he accidentally angered their co-star Ian Holm by referring to him as his knighted title.
“In walks Sir Ian Holm, who was also in Lord of War, so here are these two American actors in South Africa with a British knight, I wanted to be very deferential and try to follow the protocol,” Cage said.
“So I went, ‘Sir Ian, I’m so happy to see you, I’m so happy you’re making the movie with us, can I get you a drink, sir?’ And Ian Holm said, ‘Take it easy with the sir!'”