Nicolas Cage Shares the Story Behind His Stage Name

Posted 2022/04/22 9 0

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Veteran actor Nicolas Cage opened up about why he adopted a stage name for his career, a decision he made after working on his very first film. At this point, Cage has been in dozens of films across many different genres, but it all began in 1982. That’s when Cage made his feature film debut with a role in the classic comedy Fast Times at Ridgemont High. It’s the one and only feature film where Cage was credited under his real name, Nicolas Coppola.

In a new interview with Wired, Cage shed some light on where the “Cage” part of his name came from following his Fast Times at Ridgemont High appearance. The actor explains how his experience working on that film wasn’t very pleasant, as there were too many jokes about his name and its association with Cage’s uncle, Apocalypse Now director Francis Ford Coppola. It was enough to quickly convince Cage that a new name was in order, and he has never looked back.

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“I changed my name because I was doing a little movie called Fast Times at Ridgemont High and I was still Nicolas Coppola, and people would not stop saying things like, ‘I love the smell of Nicolas in the morning,’ because of Apocalypse Now, and Robert Duvall saying, ‘I love the smell of napalm in the morning,’ and it made it hard to work and I said, ‘I don’t need this,’ and changed it to Cage.”

Cage also touched on where his stage name came from. He said it was partly inspired by Marvel character Luke Cage, who has since been portrayed by Mike Colter in the popular Luke Cage series adaptation. Nicolas Cage was also a fan of composer John Cage, and when coupling that surname with Nicolas, it just seemed to work out perfectly.

“It’s a combination of Luke Cage from Marvel Comics, who was a character I liked, also named Power Man, and John Cage, the avant garde composer. Speaks volumes about everything I’ve been up to ever since.”

Nicolas Cage Plays Himself in His Latest Movie… Sort Of

As Nicolas Cage, he has certainly established an impressive career with the actor proving he can stand on his own without the association with his famous uncle. He takes on one of his most interesting roles yet with his newest film, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. The movie follows Cage as Nick Cage, a fictional version of himself, as the actor channels his various movie characters to rescue his family. The film has been a big hit with critics, with most considering it to be among Cage’s most entertaining films.


Tom Gormican directed The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent and co-wrote the script with Kevin Etten. Along with Cage, the film stars Pedro Pascal, Sharon Horgan, Ike Barinholtz, Alessandra Mastronardi, Jacob Scipio, Neil Patrick Harris, and Tiffany Haddish. It held its world premiere earlier this year at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas.

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent hits theaters on April 22, 2022.


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