Nicolas Cage: Don't call me an actor it makes me sound like a 'liar' - I'm a thespian

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Max Parry

By Max Parry

Published: 31/12/2021

- 15:24

Updated: 14/02/2023

- 11:44

The Oscar-winner concedes he risks sounding 'pretentious'

Hollywood film star Nicolas Cage has said he doesn't want to be called an actor because it implies he is a 'liar' and that he would rather be known as a thespian.

Cage, who won an Oscar in 1996 for his role in Leaving Las Vegas, conceded he risked coming across as 'a pretentious a-hole.'

He was speaking on the Variety’s Awards Circuit podcast and compared his artistic process to 'shamanism.'

Cage said: 'I really don’t like the word ‘actor’ because for me it always implies ‘oh, he’s a great actor, therefore he’s a great liar, and [great at] lying'.

'So with the risk of sounding like a pretentious a-hole, I like the word thespian because thespian means you’re going into your heart, or you’re going into your imagination, or your memories or your dreams, and you’re bringing something back to communicate with the audience.

'I think it’s more like recruiting imagination. Dare I say it, it’s more like a shamanism.

'What early shamans would do is go into flights of imagination to find answers to help their village. I like looking at it like that, with the risk of sounding completely absurd and ridiculous.

'I like the idea of it being something a little more organic and less artificial.'

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