Crazy true facts about Nicolas Cage

Nicolas Cage definitely isn't the actor you cast as the boring old "everyman" character, but that's exactly why his fan base loves him. While so many people hide their eccentricities from the world, Cage applies his quirky style to every job he takes. He brings the same intensity to every performance, whether he's playing a depressed screenwriter (and his identical twin brother) in an Academy Award-winning film, or screaming about how much he hates bees ("Not the bees! Aggghhh!") in a B-grade horror remake. Say what you will about Nicolas Cage, but that guy never phones it in. Ever.

Even in the real world, Cage is quite a character. Despite being in the public eye for most of his life, Cage has never shown any qualms about discussing his weirder interests, experiences, and lifestyle choices, and for that, he deserves credit. It takes effort to be weird, but not many people are bold enough to be so publicly weird. We won't claim he's a vampire, like some have, but he's definitely one unique dude.

He bought a real dinosaur skull

This sounds like a prank, an exaggeration, a threat someone makes on April Fools' Day. But Nicolas Cage did lay down the winning bid of over $270,000 on the gargantuan, prehistoric skull of a Tyrannosaurus bataar, according to Vanity Fair. Why did he want a dinosaur skull? Who knows, maybe he was hoping to turn it into a crazy-cool bed frame, a la the Hulk in Thor: Ragnarok. Cage wasn't the only rich guy bidding on the skull either. One of his top competitors was apparently fellow actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

Anyway, dropping cash on bizarre items is kind of Cage's thing, as we'll see. Unfortunately for him, the dinosaur skull purchase didn't turn out so well. Six years later, Cage got the depressing news that his prized skull wasn't really his: The seller, a guy named Eric Prokopi, had stolen the skull from the Gobi desert in Mongolia, according to the New York TimesObviously, the theft wasn't Cage's fault, but the actor amiably agreed to give the skull back to the original owners. All in all, this whole scam just goes to show why you should never trust an independent dinosaur skull retailer, no matter how trustworthy their website looks.

His cat ate his shrooms, so he ate some to keep the cat company

House cats are neurotic enough without adding hallucinogens to the mix. What do you do if you accidentally leave your magic mushrooms lying around and your feline friend licks them right up?

This sounds like a big "oops," but if you love animals as much as Nicolas Cage, you might be inclined to join them in the experience. According to The Guardian, Cage explained to David Letterman in 2010 that when his cat, Lewis, gobbled up the actor's mushrooms as if they were catnip, Cage decided the only moral thing to do was take mushrooms with him, to provide companionship. Cage told Letterman, "I remember lying in my bed for hours, and Lewis was on the desk across from the bed for hours, staring at each other … not moving. But he would stare at me." Evidently, Cage and Lewis bonded over this shared experience, with Cage saying that after going through it, "I had no doubt that he was my brother." No word on whether they've tried it again since.

He invented his own acting style, 'Nouveau Shamanic'

If you've ever watched a Nicolas Cage film — and if you're here, you probably have — then you know how invested he gets in every role. According to the AV Club, he gets into the heads of his characters by using a self-created acting discipline he calls "Nouveau Shamanic," as a tribute to the shamans of ancient history. For example, when preparing himself for Ghost Rider, Cage's Nouveau Shamanic approach was to apply "Afro-Caribbean paint" and put on a costume composed of priceless Egyptian artifacts to evoke the feeling of being an extra-dimensional spirit. Cage knows his approach is weird, but says it's "all semantics."

Later, Cage clarified to LA Weekly that Nouveau Shamanic wasn't something he really invented: It was inspired by a book titled The Way of the Actor, which described how, thousands of years ago, "the medicine men or the tribal shamans were really actors. What they would do is they would act out whatever the issues were with the villagers at that time, they would act it out and try to find the answers or go into a trance or go into another dimension, which is really just the imagination, and try to pull back something that would reflect the concerns of the group." So basically, Cage's approach to acting is intended as a tribute to customs from a bygone era.

He's been stalked by both a mime and a naked fudgesicle eater

Most major celebrities get followed by creepy fans, but not surprisingly, Nicolas Cage has the weirdest stalker stories around. In an interview with Parade, Cage said when he was filming Bringing Out the Dead, he became unsettled by the random appearance of a silent performer in a mime costume. Evidently, the mime somehow got past security and kept doing strange antics on the set. Cage clearly got a bad vibe from the mime, saying, "I guess it would fall into the stalker category, more or less." Apparently, the producers were similarly weirded out, and ordered the mime removed. He never came back — as far as anyone knows, anyway.

This isn't the only invasive encounter Cage has experienced. According to Reuters, Cage said in 2011 he endured a home invasion and had been awoken at 2 a.m. by a naked man standing at the foot of his bed, wearing nothing but Cage's leather jacket and licking a fudgesicle. Cage stayed calm, talked the guy into leaving his house and didn't press charges. So even when Cage himself isn't being odd, odd things seem to happen to him.

He's owned some wild properties

Ever want to live in a castle? So did Cage, so he bought a real castle in the German state of Bavaria, according to People. Cage was interested in establishing a residence in Bavaria anyway, since his mother's ancestors originated from the region, and as soon as he saw the castle (which is named Schloss Neidstein), he fell in love, explaining, "I liked the architecture and the gigantic forest." You could just buy an old Victorian house in northern Maine, but hey. 

Cage's astonishing real estate purchases don't end there. According to Variety, Cage also once owned a private, 45-acre island in the Bahamas, though he sold it in 2008. On top of that, Vanity Fair says he also once owned the LaLaurie Mansion in New Orleans, which previously housed 19th-century serial killer Delphine LaLaurie, the villain played by Kathy Bates on American Horror Story. Cage bought the residence, which he calls "the most haunted house in America," to write a horror novel. "I didn't get too far with the novel," he admitted.

He's in the most surreal Japanese commercials ever

In Japan, Sankyo's Pachinko is an arcade/gambling game which has many fans, but in the United States, it might forever remembered for the increasingly weird series of commercials that starred Nicolas Cage. According to Complex, these insane videos — which feature such sequences as a cowboy Cage maniacally dancing with spherical-headed aliens, or Cage getting insanely excited about triplets — were never meant to be shown in the United States. But then YouTube happened, the ads became a staple meme among American high school kids, and Cage earned some of his most adoring fans. So hey, it worked out for the best.

Cage's weird adventures in Japanese marketing don't end there, though. According to a 2017 article on Japan Today, Cage's likeness was also featured on a line of snack foods called "Nicolastick," as part of a marketing stunt for Cage's movie Army of One. The problem? Cage never gave his permission, and when he found out, the distributor apologized.  

The crazy amount of huge movie roles he didn't take, or which were taken away from him

Now, to be clear, this happens all the time. It's just the nature of how Hollywood works. Actors often get cast in a role, only to back out for one reason or another, or are replaced after filming commences. Nonetheless, it's pretty crazy just how many iconic film roles almost featured Nicolas Cage's wild eyes and distinctive voice. For example, Superman is generally seen as the ultimate boy scout superhero, but as the video above reminds us, Nicolas Cage almost brought a darker, lonelier, more haunting Kal-El to life in the 1990s.  Entertainment Weekly reports he was also supposed to play John Constantine before the role went to Keanu Reeves. Over on the Marvel side, Cage was originally the studio's favorite choice to portray Spider-Man villain the Green Goblin, according to Entertainment Weekly.

The parade of "almost-Caged" roles doesn't stop there. In 2016, Cage was offered the role of President Ronald Reagan but was worried the part might "damage his career," according to Yahoo. It's even crazier to speculate on the fact that he was offered the part of Neo in The Matrix, according to MTV, as well as Aragorn in Lord of the Rings. He has no hard feelings about missing out on a stint in Middle-earth, though, having explained that, "I thought what Viggo did was terrific."

His diet choices are very specific

Some people stick to a vegetarian diet, for moral reasons. Others go vegan. Many people eat meat, but are strict about what kinds of meat they consume, whether it's due to a desire to keep kosher, a preference for grass-fed, organic beef, or what have you. Nicolas Cage also practices a rather specific sort of carnivorous diet, as described by the Telegraph. In an interview with the Sun, Cage explains he chooses the animals he eats based on how dignified their mating rituals are. For example, he's comfortable if you put birds or fish on his dinner table — but pigs? Not so much. 

That said, this has nothing to do with his personal feelings toward the animals themselves — as he's stated on many occasions, he's a big animal lover, with a "fascination with fish, birds, whales, sentient life, insects, reptiles" — so his views on their mating rituals are only a factor when it comes to what's on his plate. So far, there's no word on whether he would ever consider chomping down on one of those Japanese Nicolasticks.  

He's going to be buried in a pyramid one day ... in New Orleans

Everyone deserves the right to make their own decisions about how their remains are handled after their death, but Nicolas Cage isn't interested in having his ashes scattered anywhere.  According to Atlas Obscura, Cage plans to follow the lead of those ancient Egyptian Pharaohs, and have his remains forever housed in a pyramid. Yes, a pyramid … on American soil. 

Before you go thinking this is just a silly joke he made, you should know the pyramid has already been built. Cage's rather unusual tomb now stands in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, the famous New Orleans graveyard that also contains the tomb of Marie Laveau. Cage's pyramid is 9 feet tall, carved out of solid stone, and has the Latin phrase Omni Ab Uno ("Everything From One") scrawled on the front. Obviously, Cage isn't occupying the tomb yet, but its unusual shape has already made it a tourist attraction. Some have theorized Cage's pyramid obsession is a sign of him belonging to the Illuminati, but he probably just likes Egyptian architecture.

Nicolas Cage and Charlie Sheen think airplane pranks are funny

The best pranks always carry a certain level of risk, but when Nicolas Cage decided to punk an entire passenger airplane a couple decades back, he probably took it a little too far. Recounting the whole incident to David Letterman, Cage explained that about halfway through the flight, he somehow got a hold of the PA system, and announced over the speakers that he was the pilot, and "wasn't feeling very well," which definitely isn't something you want to hear when you're miles up in the sky. Understandably, the actual pilot was pretty upset about the whole thing.

Cage's first problem, after doing the prank? When the aircraft landed, six armed police officers met him at the door. The bigger problem? One of Cage's fellow passengers was infamous Hollywood wild child Charlie Sheen, who — unbeknownst to Cage — had a bag of cocaine wrapped around his ankle, and thus also wasn't too happy about Cage's little prank. Somehow, Cage managed to talk his way out of the situation, and no one suffered any legal trouble over it.

He likes taking names from comic book superheroes

Ever wonder how Nicolas Cage managed to snag such a cool surname? It turns out "Cage" is actually a tribute to the superhero comics the actor grew up on. As the New York Times explained in 1994, the actor, nephew to Francis Ford Coppola, was originally named Nicolas Coppola. When he went into acting, Cage wanted to carve his own path instead of just being identified with his uncle, so he took the surname of the bulletproof Marvel Comics superhero Luke Cage. Perhaps intentionally, this mirrors the path of the Marvel character, whose birth name was "Carl Lucas" before running afoul of the law.

Not surprisingly, when Cage's third wife Alice Kim became pregnant, Nicolas once again looked toward his favorite comic books to find a name. The couple ended up naming their boy Kal-El Cage, according to Time, as a tribute to Superman. We'll see if Kal's Kryptonian super powers kick in someday.

He SAYS he's not a vampire

This might sound silly, but honestly, if there was any major actor who would be revealed as an immortal creature, it'd be Nicolas Cage. Back in 2011, The Hollywood Reporter discussed an eBay listing that had set the internet ablaze: a yellowed photo dating back to the U.S. Civil War, which the seller claimed as proof that Nicolas Cage was actually a vampire. The seller, who wanted $1 million, argued that Cage was probably an undead being who reinvented himself every 75 years or so. The whole thing was tongue in cheek, but it can't be argued that the guy in that photo really did look a lot like Nicolas Cage.

Joke or not, the vampire theory got people talking so much that by the following year, Cage himself was forced to comment on the matter, according to Today. Though Cage conceded a resemblance, he shot down the internet's fantastical explanation, telling the world, "I don't drink blood, and the last time I looked in the mirror, I had a reflection." So for now, that's his story and he's sticking to it. We'll just have to wait 75 years or so, and see if a new celebrity, politician, wizard, or superhero emerges with Cage's easily recognizable appearance and personal quirks. On the other hand, if Cage does turn out to be as mortal as the rest of us, at least the creepily lifelike wax figure pictured above will preserve his likeness for eternity.