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In a recent interview with TIME Nicolas Cage opened up about his new role as a New Orleans politician whose honorable ambitions to help his constituents in the wake of the BP oil spill is undercut by a sex scandal.
Reflecting on a career that spans decades and a wide range of roles, Cage discusses how the new “TMZ culture” has changed not only the way we evaluate our politicians, but also actors and films themselves.
“I think that there was a period in film commentary where it was like the gold standard — I would cite someone like Pauline Kael or Roger Ebert or Paul Schrader — where they were really determining based on the work itself, the film itself, the performance itself,” said Cage. “And now, with the advent of this kind of TMZ culture, it sadly seems to have infiltrated the vanguard of film commentary. I see these reviews sometimes where I think, well, you have a right to say whatever you want about my work, and I will listen whether it’s good or bad and see if there’s something that I might work with, but personal issues don’t have a place in film commentary.”
In his character of Colin Price, Cage said he saw a character who found himself punished by this “infiltration” of the personal into the public realm, and it was one of the reasons Cage was so drawn to the role.
“I saw someone in this fictionalized political character that was trying to do something important for his city,” Cage remarked. “He meant well, but then you see that the human flaws had really derailed his past. It seems to be happening more and more in our country. I wanted to hold a mirror up to that.”
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