Nicolas Cage says his various pets inspired his performances

In the February 2023 issue of the magazine Empire Magazine, Nicolas Cage looks back on his career and what allowed him to enjoy such stellar success in Hollywood. Discussing his acting method, Cage revealed that his pets influenced how he approached certain roles. Specially for 2021’s The Pig – a film in which a former world famous chef goes on a wild hunt for his lost pig – he used his cat Merlin as inspiration. “I had this terrible nightmare about Merlin and it was a gift in a weird way because I felt lost, like something terrible had really happened to him,” he told the publication.


In addition to Merlin, another of Cage’s pets helped put the finishing touches on one of his film performances. In 2007, when he starred in the movie Ghost Rider, he imitated his pet cobra by developing Johnny Blaze’s physical form. “It would try [hypnotize] me by showing the drawing of an eye on his back and then turning around to attack. I used this in Ghost Rider where my character did this weird Axl Rose dance and then attacked,” Cage explained. He notes that reptiles in general can be quite helpful when it comes to bringing certain characters together.

Inspiration can come when you least expect it, and for Nicolas Cage it happened when he spent time with his pets. The methodology may be strange, but the results are hard to argue with.


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