“The Unbearable Burden of Massive Talent” is a work of fiction, but sometimes art imitates life.

“The Unbearable Burden of a Huge Talent”

©Lions Gate/Courtesy Everett Collection

“The unbearable burden of massive talent” brought Nicolas Cage returned to the spotlight this spring, highlighting his eclectic filmography, willingness to take on any role he takes on, and undeniable passion for film. One of the most memorable gags in the buddy meta-comedy was Javi (Pedro Pascal) introducing a fictional version of Cage “Paddington 2.” Cage is initially confused as to why his new cinephile friend loves Paul King’s children’s film so much, but eventually agrees to watch it and finds himself moved to tears.

It turns out that art imitates life. Although many of Cage’s traits in the film (such as his alcoholism and the fact that he has a daughter instead of sons) were fictional, the actor really loves Paddington 2.

“I think the movie is wonderful,” Cage said in a new interview The Hollywood Reporter. “I particularly liked Hugh Grant and I thought he was wonderful – a wonderfully wicked performance. I really laughed.”

Cage also explained that his experience reassessing his career to make The Unbearable Burden of Massive Talent forced him to examine what drew him to certain roles and refine his criteria for taking on future projects.

“My favorite experience is when I go to the movies and say, ‘This is what I’m trying to get close to.’ Films that speak to me, to my instrument, to my tastes,” said Cage. “So ‘Ordinary People’, ‘East of Eden’ and ‘Last Tango in Paris.’ I want movies that break my heart, break me, make me vulnerable…James Dean with Raymond Massey trying to give him money for his birthday and having a nervous breakdown on camera, or Marlon Brando trying to talk to his wife when she’s in a coffin and having a nervous breakdown… That’s the experience that made me want to be a movie actor as a viewer. So when there’s a movie like ‘Mandy’ or ‘Pig’ or ‘Leaving Las Vegas’ and I can say that I’m just starting to get closer to the experience I had at the movies when I was 14 watching James Dean or Brando, that’s my goal.”

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