Sunday, May 3, 2009

"My name is H.I. McDonnaugh. Call me Hi."

I love Nicolas Cage. It's true - weirdo that he is - he is one of my perpetual favorites. Once upon a time when I was 20-something and made my first trip to CA with my friend, Lin, to visit our friend, A-squared, he became the first victim of my stalking obsession. Of course back then we were way less sophisticated (because I'm super sophisticated now) and actually thought buying a "Map to the Stars' Homes" would really direct us to the stars' homes. So Lin and I set out one day to find Nicolas Cage's home. It was an apartment building, so we walked right up and, lo and behold, discovered "the doorman". Like I said, we were 20-something and obviously had never lived in a building with any type of security at that point in our lives. So, since we couldn't get in to walk right up to Nic's apartment, knock on his door, and invite ourselves in for dinner, we sat on the bus-stop bench across the street to devise a plan. Then we realized it was around 5ish, so he would probably be coming home from work soon. (Because all actors work 9-5, right? And even if he did, making it home any sooner than the required 2-hour stint on the 405 would be a miracle. But, hey, what do we know?) So, we decided to walk circles around the apartment building to see who had the prettiest curtains up at the penthouse level, because that would probably be his place. Brilliant, I tell you! Then we patrolled the parking garage for all the cool cars coming in to see if he was in one of them. More brilliance, I tell you! Hey - at least we didn't break in and try on his clothes.

Although we never met Nic that day, Lin did meet him years later at Gladstones. He was sitting at the table next to her and spilled his beer on her leg. (And no, of course she's never washed that leg - have you been paying attention?) I think he apologized and then asked her to run off to a remote island with him and they lived happily ever after. I think. I could be wrong, though.

Anyway, the reason I'm tripping down Nicolas-Cage-memory-lane is because I read this article the other day about his weirdness. And it just made me love him even more. If you thought he topped out at naming his kid after Superman, think again...

Nic once ate a real cockroach in a movie. Actually, he ate a trio of real cockroaches, because it took three takes to get it just right. While filming 1989's "Vampire's Kiss," Nic did his own stunt eating and swallowed the crusty insects. The script had his character eating raw eggs, but Cage didn't think that would be weird enough.

Nic admitted once to having a pet octopus, claiming that studying beings that are totally different helps him with his acting. Guess that also explains the salt-water sharks, the lizard, and the crocodile. For a time, he even had two pet King Cobras (Moby and Sheba) that he would observe for hours from a specially constructed cell in his home, with a glass of wine in his hand and a bottle of poison antidote very nearby. One night he mentioned his pets on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno," and his neighbors immediately began fighting to get the poisonous reptiles removed. Cage donated them to a local zoo a short time later.

He proposed to Patricia Arquette the day they met. The story goes that Nic told Patricia on the day they met that he loved her and was going to marry her. (Which is exactly what I would do if I met him, so why is that so odd?) She then gave him a scavenger-hunt list of impossible tasks to prove his love. When he returned with several of the items she requested (including reclusive author J. D. Salinger's autograph), Arquette fled, frightened by the intensity of his enthusiasm. It wasn't until they met again eight years later that they fell in love and wed. The couple separated after nine months.

Nic once had the biggest celebrity comic book collection ever, which sold at auction for $1.68 million. He and his older son, Weston, wrote a comic book series called "Voodoo Child". In fact, Cage loves comics so much that his stage name was taken from a comic book character, Luke Cage, and his son with his third wife, Alice Kim Cage, is named after none other than Superman himself, Kal-el. (Or as Lin says "Nic, what the hell-el were you thinking?")

So far the closest I've ever come to meeting Nic was pole-dancing on the giant martini glass at the Copolla winery in Napa. Another story for another time. And you thought he was the weird one!


Linda said...

Sigh... those were the days! Still love him, would STILL stalk him with you any day!! Lin

FerfeLaBat said...

Been a fan since Valley Girl. Hawt.

And Conair. "Put tha Bunne in tha baux."