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NicolasCage INTERVIEW BY Fred Topel

Nicolas Cage never used to make the kind of movies you’d take your kids to. He made edgy, scary dramas and played unstable characters. Well he still does, only now he’s doing it in kid’s movies.

You may remember The Sorcerer’s Apprentice as a Mickey Mouse cartoon. Cage is a big fan. He says he watches Fantasia every year. In the live- action full length movie, Cage plays a sorcerer who trains a new apprentice (Jay Baruchel) in modern day New York. It turns into a Jerry Bruckheimer action movie with Cage running around the city shooting lightning bolts out of his hands.

Always unpredictable, there’s no telling what Nic Cage will do next. He just finished the grown-up Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, the ultra- violent Kick-Ass, and the spooky Season of the Witch. After this summer’s Disney movie, he stars in Drive Angry, a 3-D action movie where he sports long blonde hair. You can’t pull all that off on a whim, so listening to Cage explain his methods is a rare opportunity to perhaps absorb a piece of that cool.

Q: What are you drawn to about family movies like The Sorcerer’s Apprentice?

Nicolas Cage: When you’re playing the kinds of supernatural character roles that are in Ghost Rider or City of Angels,

Next, or Sorcerer’s Apprentice, there’s an infinite number of places you can go with the character. I also think it provides really wonderful entertainment for the whole family. You don’t have a high body count. The children and the parents can congregate together and look forward to the experience together, buy the ticket, say, ‘I’m looking forward to The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’. That’s important. Families getting together and sharing the experience with each other and the adults are as much entertained as the kids. You can do that with a film like Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

Q: As an entertainer making family films, what does it mean to you to be part of a stable of Disney stars?

NC: I’m honored and I feel greatly privileged. I call him Uncle Walt. I grew up watching his movies. I love what he stands

for. I love what Disney stands for. I like the entertainment that comes out of that studio and so in the spirit of Disney, it is truly a dream come true. It is magical. Again, I want to reiterate that this movie will entertain adults as much as kids, but I do think having been a father now for over 19 years, once I had a child, it opened my mind to other possibilities. I wasn’t an anarchist anymore. I love the

Photo: Fred Topel

Sex Pistols but I kind of didn’t want to be punk rock all the time anymore so I decided to go in other directions.

Q: How did you think a cartoon short would be an idea for a whole movie?

NC: When I came up with this idea, I was on Next. I was talking with Todd Garner who’s also the producer there. I

said ‘man, I really want to play a magician. I want to play a sorcerer.’ He came in the next day and said ‘Nic, I got it. Let’s do Sorcerer’s Apprentice.’ Then I went to my partner at the time, Norm Golightly and we got a script out of it. We all thought ‘you know who would really put this on a fast track, who would give it all the panache and all the big entertainment style? Nobody better than Jerry Bruckheimer.’ So we went to Jerry and, being the good friend and a great producer that he is, he read it and said ‘hey, we’re doing it.’

Q: What is it about working with Jerry Bruckheimer that makes it such a successful collaboration?

NC: I always prefer working with my friends, and hopefully when I work with new people I can make new friends. But

you know there’s a shorthand when I work with Jerry, when I work with Jon. I know what to expect so we get a lot done very quickly and we trust each other. There’s a confidence level and a comfort level where I don’t have to rush into it. I can get to the set and I know what’s expected of me. One of the things I love about Jerry is that one time, years ago,

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