Nicolas Cage has received excellent reviews in director David Gordon Green’s evocative drama Joe, a project which features him as the titular ex-convict. Hell bent on staying out of trouble, the kindhearted yet temperamental Joe is pulled back into a life of complication after befriending a 15-year-old boy (Tye Sheridan).
Green wrote Cage a letter expressing his interest in the actor for Joe. Cage then read the script and also perused the novel Larry Brown’s novel. After visiting the filmmaker in Texas for several days and bonding over tacos, it was essentially a done deal.
For Cage, the return to naturalistic acting on Joe was a change of pace from what he describes as a abstract style of Western kabuki acting he applied to his action adventure roles.
“I was at this point where I wanted to find a part where I didn’t design the performance,” said the actor, who also did excellent work opposite John Cusack and Vanessa Hudgens in The Frozen Ground. “Whatever mistakes I made in the past, which I won’t go into detail with, I wanted to put them into a character (and give) a portrayal of understanding. Use the mistakes so I wouldn’t have to act so much.”
“When I read the script (for) Joe, I understood why he was in the situations he found himself in,” said Cage. “I understood his need for restraint. I understood the dialogue and so I thought, ‘this is what I’m looking for, I could just be. I could just feel this.”
Nicolas Cage’s first feature film was the 1982 flick Fast Times at Ridgemont High (he is credited as Nicolas Coppola), so one would assume he has tones of great acting advice to offer.
Click on the media bar below to hear Cage explain why putting yourself on video is an important element of the audition process: