Nicolas Cage may have found himself at the center of viral memes that constantly flood social media, but that was not what he ever intended to do.
In a recent interview with The Guardian, to promote A24’s upcoming film Dream Scenario, the Oscar-winning actor admitted that he initially “didn’t understand how to process what was happening” with all the memes and video mashups of him and the characters he had played for projects.
“I got into acting because I was moved by film performance more than any other art form. I didn’t get into movies to become a meme. That was new. I made friends with it but it was an adjustment,” he said. “I thought maybe they would compel someone to go back and look at the movies. But I had no control over it. The same thing happens with Paul in Dream Scenario: he has no control over this inexplicable phenomenon.”
The Kristoffer Borgli-directed film follows Paul Matthews, an unlucky family man who finds his life turned upside down when he starts to appear in millions of strangers’ dreams. But his newfound stardom gets complicated when the dreams become nightmares.
Earlier in the interview, Cage said he believes he may “have been the first actor who went through a kind of meme-ification,” which was hard for him to wrap his head around.
“One person had cherrypicked from all these different movies where I was having meltdowns, but without any regard for how the character got to that place,” the Renfield actor recalled of one of the video compilations he saw. “I was frustrated because I didn’t know what people were taking from the movies other than that.”
Cage also recently made headlines for his thoughts on the use of artificial intelligence in movies. “AI is a nightmare to me,” he told Yahoo! Entertainment. “It’s inhumane. You can’t get more inhumane than artificial intelligence … I would be very unhappy if people were taking my art … and appropriating [it].”
He also noted that his brief cameo in Warner Bros.’ The Flash was very different from what he actually shot for the movie.
“When I went to the picture, it was me fighting a giant spider,” Cage explained. “I did not do that. That was not what I did.”
Dream Scenario hits theaters Nov. 10.