Don’t call him an actor, thank you very much. In a new interview, Nicolas Cage made it clear he prefers to be labeled as something much more serious when it comes to his profession.

“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,'” he said during an appearance on the Variety Awards Circuit podcast. “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.”

The National Treasure star continued: “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.”

Cage’s next role as a thespian involves playing a meta version of, well, himself in Tom Gormican’s The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent alongside Pedro Pascal, Tiffany Haddish, Neil Patrick Harris and more. His casting as Dracula in the upcoming Universal monster movie Renfield was also announced just over a month ago in late November.


Last summer, Consequence ranked Cage’s 15 most essential films to celebrate the release of Pig, with his roles in 1995’s Leaving Las Vegas, 1997’s Face/Off, and 1987’s Raising Arizona all among the contenders for the top spot.