Nicolas Cage is petrified of returning to the Hollywood machine.
The 57-year-old Oscar-winning actor has mostly taken on roles in independent movies in recent years, such as his latest Pig, which premiered at Cannes to glowing reviews.
In the movie, he plays Rob, a truffle hunter haunted by his past celebrity chef status as he tries to find his stolen pig.
In a Variety interview, Cage said he could relate to Rob and how the character helped him reflect on his days of a being Hollywood A-lister.
"I do feel I've gone into my wilderness and that I've left the small town that is Hollywood," he said. "I don't know exactly why Rob left his stardom. It's never fully explained, and I like that about the movie.
"But as for me, I don't know if I'd want to go back. I don't know if I'd want to go and make another Disney movie. It would be terrifying. It's a whole different climate. There's a lot of fear there."
In the 1990s and 2000s, Cage starred in a series of Jerry Bruckheimer/Disney-produced blockbusters such as The Rock, Con Air, Gone in 60 Seconds and National Treasure. The closest he'd come to making big studio productions recently was providing his voice in animated features such as The Croods and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Cage confessed that being in those movies was nerve-wracking. He recalled: "When I was making Jerry Bruckheimer movies back-to-back, that was just a high-pressure game. There were a lot of fun moments, but at the same time, there was also 'We wrote this line. It has to be said this way.'
"They'd put a camera on you and photograph you, and order you: 'Now say the roller skate training wheels line.' I'd say, 'I'll do that but I'd also like to try it this way.'
"On independent movies, you have more freedom to experiment and be fluid. There's less pressure and there's more oxygen in the room."
Cage explained that he saw Pig as an opportunity to show audiences that he can put in subtle screen performances.
He said: "I wanted to remind myself and also remind some folks perhaps in the audience or in the media that I could also apply myself to a much more quiet and measure performance style."
In other Nicolas Cage news, Amazon pulled the plug on the Tiger King series, which was supposed to star Cage as the controversial zookeeper Joe Exotic. Cage told Variety: “I read two excellent scripts, which I did think were excellent, but I think Amazon ultimately felt that it was material that had become past tense because it took so long for it come together. They felt at one point that it was lightning in a bottle, but that point has since faded into the distance and it’s no longer relevant.”
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