How Nicolas Cage Parodies Himself in ‘Massive Talent’ - Anatomy of a Scene.

Nicolas Cage gets his acting mojo back in this scene from the meta action comedy “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.”

Here, Cage, who plays the fictionalized version of himself named Nick Cage, is spending time with a superfan, Javi (Pedro Pascal). Javi has paid Nick to be his guest for his birthday. Reduced to taking such gigs instead of parts in major Hollywood movies, Nick has reached a low point in his career and has decided to give up acting. But Javi won’t allow that, creating a performance exercise with Nick that forces him to showcase his craft.

Discussing the sequence, Gormican said that Pascal had a lot of weight on his shoulders. “He had to act like a bad actor as the character,” he said, “but not bad enough that it would yank you out of the scene.” For his part, Cage delved into his screen history to deliver dual levels of self-parody, including a tongue-in-cheek line from “Con Air.”

At the scene’s end, the two characters leap from an 85-foot cliff, a moment that Gormican accomplished with two stunt performers who did the leap twice while five cameras were rolling to capture it.

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