It’s not wrong to say that Nicolas Cage is one of the most fascinating figures in Hollywood. Nephew of legendary director Francis Ford Coppola, Cage was inspired by James Dean to get into the acting biz as a teenager, and in the years since has become an Academy Award winner and the subject of Internet worship. Here are ten of the most entertainingly bizarre Nicolas Cage facts we know.
10. China Thinks He’s the Best Actor in the World
Cage has taken home a number of awards for his work in American films – an Oscar for Leaving Las Vegas in 1995, for example – but nothing beats the honor that the Huading Awards bestowed on him in 2013. How does “Best Global Actor In Motion Pictures” strike you? That’s the kind of award that really opens doors in Hollywood.
9. He Sued Kathleen Turner Because She Said He Stole a Dog
Hollywood is a notoriously lawsuit-happy place, but this one is bizarre by any standards. In 2008, Kathleen Turner published her memoir, Send Yourself Roses, and a chunk of it dealt with her experience working with Cage on Peggy Sue Got Married. Turner claimed that her co-star was once busted by the cops for swiping a Chihuahua. Cage protested, sued, and eventually won a public apology.
8. He Once Woke Up Next to a Naked Man
No, not in the way you think. This bizarre story happened when Cage was living in Orange County with his wife. He woke up one night to discover a man, completely naked except for Cage’s leather jacket, sitting on the foot of his bed eating a Fudgesicle. The actor managed to convince the obviously disturbed man to leave the house without incident, but he moved his family out of the house soon after.
7. He Once Did Mushrooms with His Cat
You’d be forgiven for thinking that Nicolas Cage has done a fair amount of psychoactive drugs in his day, but so far we only have one confirmed story. In 2010, he told David Letterman a story about his pet cat Louis getting into a bag of shrooms he had laying around and tripping out, and how Cage decided that the sociable thing to do would be to do some as well to keep him company.
6. He Will Be Buried in a Pyramid
As a celebrity, you need to think about what’s going to happen after you die. You need to keep your corpse secure from grave-robbers and crazed fans, and Nicolas Cage is set in that department. He’s got a nine foot tall stone pyramid in one of New Orleans’ most famous cemeteries that his body will be interred within.
5. He Had Two Teeth Pulled For a Movie
While filming Birdy, the 1984 flick about a traumatized Vietnam vet obsessed with flying, Cage felt like he needed to understand “real pain” to get into his character. As a result, he went to a dentist and had two of his teeth pulled. They were baby teeth and needed to come out, but Cage demanded they not use anesthetic so he could feel it.
4. He Eats Animals Based on How They Have Sex
Weird diets are a staple of Hollywood stars, but few celebrities manage their plates quite like Nicolas Cage. The actor only eats animals that are “dignified” when they mate, like birds and fish. He refuses to eat any living thing that has sex in a way he doesn’t find attractive. That’s quite a thing to tell a chef.
3. His Acting Technique Is Called “Nouveau Shamantic”
Describing the acting methodology of Nicolas Cage using normal human language is an exercise in futility. That’s because he’s developed his own, totally unique way of getting into character, which he calls “Nouveau Shamantic.” If you want to learn all of his secrets, good news: he’s planning on writing a book to tell you all about it.
2. He Had a Mime Stalker
If you’re famous, it’s kind of a given that you’re going to have to deal with obsessed fans every once in a while. As befits a star with the weirdness quotient of Nicolas Cage, he had a totally bizarre stalker: a mime. While filming Bringing out the Dead, an obsessed Cage fan showed up multiple times on the set, pantomiming a number of weird action until the actor got security to finally keep him out.
1. He Once Had a Pet Octopus
Nicolas Cage is notorious for his profligate spending, blowing huge sums on castles, yachts, a jet and a T-rex skull. So when it came time for him to get a pet for his house, no dog or cat would do. Instead, the actor dropped a bundle on an octopus, telling the press that he needed it to “help him with his acting.” Your guess is as good as ours on how exactly that works.