Nicolas Kim Coppola (born January 7, 1964), known professionally as Nicolas Cage, is an American actor, producer, and director who has appeared in over 70 films, including Moonstruck (1987), Raising Arizona (1987), Leaving Las Vegas (1995), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor, The Rock (1996), Face/Off (1997), Con Air (1997), Gone in 60 Seconds (2000), Adaptation (2002), National Treasure (2004), Lord of War (2005), Ghost Rider (2007), National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007), The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009), Knowing (2009), Kick-Ass (2010), Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2012), and a voice role in The Croods (2013).
He was born Nicolas Kim Coppola on January 7, 1964, in Long Beach, California, to parents August Floyd Coppola, a professor of literature, and Joy (Vogelsang), a dancer and choreographer. He was raised in a Catholic family. His father was of Italian descent and his mother is of German and Polish descent. His paternal grandparents were composer Carmine Coppola and actress Italia Pennino, and his paternal great-grandparents were immigrants from Bernalda, Basilicata, Italy. Through his father, Cage is the nephew of director Francis Ford Coppola and actress Talia Shire, and the cousin of directors Roman Coppola and Sofia Coppola, film producer Gian-Carlo Coppola, and actors Robert Carmine and Jason Schwartzman. Cage's two brothers are New York radio personality Marc "The Cope" Coppola and director Christopher Coppola. He attended Beverly Hills High School, which is known for its many alumni who became entertainers. He aspired to act from an early age and also attended UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. His first non-cinematic acting experience was in a school production of Golden Boy.
To avoid the appearance of nepotism as the nephew of Francis Ford Coppola, he changed his name early in his career to Nicolas Cage, inspired in part by the Marvel Comics superhero Luke Cage. Since his minor role in the film Fast Times at Ridgemont High, with Sean Penn, Cage has appeared in a wide range of films, both mainstream and offbeat. He tried out for the role of Dallas Winston in his uncle's film The Outsiders, based on S.E. Hinton's novel, but lost to Matt Dillon. He was also in Coppola's films Rumble Fish and Peggy Sue Got Married.
Other Cage roles included appearances in the acclaimed 1987 romantic-comedy film Moonstruck, also starring Cher; The Coen Brothers cult-classic comedy Raising Arizona; David Lynch's 1990 film Wild at Heart; a lead role in Martin Scorsese's 1999 New York City paramedic drama Bringing Out the Dead; and Ridley Scott's 2003 drama film Matchstick Men, in which he played an agoraphobic, mysophobic, obsessive-compulsive con artist with a tic disorder.
Cage has been nominated twice for an Academy Award, winning once for his performance as a suicidal alcoholic in Leaving Las Vegas. His other nomination was for his portrayal of real-life screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and Kaufman's fictional twin Donald in Adaptation. Despite these successes, most of his lower-profile films have performed poorly at the box office compared to his mainstream action/adventure roles. The suspense thriller 8mm (1999) was not a box office success, but is now considered a cult film. He took the lead role in the 2001 film Captain Corelli's Mandolin and learned to play the mandolin from scratch for the part. In 2005, two films he headlined, Lord of War and The Weather Man, failed to find a significant audience despite nationwide releases and good reviews for his acting in those roles. Poor reviews for The Wicker Man resulted in low box office sales. The much criticized Ghost Rider (2007), based on the Marvel Comics character, fared better, earning more than $45 million (the top earner) during its opening weekend and over $208 million worldwide through the weekend ending on March 25, 2007. Also in 2007, he starred in Next, which shared the concept of a glimpse into an alternate timeline with Cage's film, The Family Man (2000).
Most of Cage's movies that have achieved financial success were in the action/adventure genre. In his second-highest grossing film to date, National Treasure (2007), he plays an eccentric historian who goes on a dangerous adventure to find treasure hidden by the Founding Fathers of the United States. Other action hits include The Rock (1996), in which Cage plays a young FBI chemical weapons expert who infiltrates Alcatraz Island in hopes of neutralizing a terrorist threat, Face/Off (1997), a John Woo film where he plays both a hero and a villain, and World Trade Center (2006), director Oliver Stone's film regarding the September 11, 2001 attacks. He had a small but notable role as the Chinese criminal mastermind Dr. Fu Manchu in Rob Zombie's fake trailer Werewolf Women of the S.S. from the B-movie double feature Grindhouse.
Cage made his directorial debut with Sonny, a low-budget drama starring James Franco as a male prostitute whose mother (Brenda Blethyn) serves as his pimp. Cage had a small role in the film as Acid Yellow, which received poor reviews and a short run in a limited number of theatres. Cage's producing career includes Shadow of the Vampire, the first effort from Saturn Films.
In early December 2006, Cage announced at the Bahamas International Film Festival that he planned to curtail his future acting endeavors to pursue other interests. On The Dresden Files for the Sci-Fi Channel, Cage is listed as the executive producer.
In November 2007, Cage was spotted backstage at a Ring of Honor wrestling show in New York City researching his role for The Wrestler. The role was ultimately played by Mickey Rourke, who received an Academy Award nomination for his performance. The Wrestler director Darren Aronofsky, in an interview with slashfilm.com, said of Cage's decision to leave the film that: "Nic was a complete gentleman, and he understood that my heart was with Mickey and he stepped aside. I have so much respect for Nic Cage as an actor and I think it really could have worked with Nic but ... you know, Nic was incredibly supportive of Mickey and he is old friends with Mickey and really wanted to help with this opportunity, so he pulled himself out of the race."
Cage, an avid comic book fan, auctioned a collection of 400 vintage comics through Heritage Auctions for over $1.6 million in 2002. In 2007, he created a comic book with his son Weston, called Voodoo Child, which was published by Virgin Comics. Cage is a fan and collector of painter and underground comic artist Robert Williams. He has written introductions for Juxtapoz magazine and purchased the painting Death On The Boards.
In 2008, Cage appeared as Joe, a contract killer who undergoes a change of heart while on a work outing in Bangkok, in the film Bangkok Dangerous. The film is shot by the Pang Brothers and has a distinct Southeast Asian flavor. In 2009, Cage starred in science fiction thriller Knowing, directed by Alex Proyas. In the film, he plays an MIT professor who examines the contents of a time capsule unearthed at his son's elementary school. Startling predictions found inside the capsule that have already come true lead him to believe the world is going to end at the close of the week, and that he and his son are somehow involved in the destruction. The film received mainly negative reviews but was the box office winner on its opening weekend. Also in 2009, Cage starred in the film The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, directed by acclaimed German director Werner Herzog. He portrayed a corrupt police officer with gambling, drug and alcohol addictions. The film was very well received by critics, holding a rating of 87% positive reviews on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes. Cage received lauds for his performance, with Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune writing "Herzog has found his ideal interpreter, a performer whose truth lies deep in the artifice of performance: ladies and gentlemen, Nicolas Cage, at his finest." This film reunited Cage with Eva Mendes, who played his love interest in Ghost Rider. In 2010, Cage starred in the period piece Season of the Witch, playing a 14th-century knight transporting a girl accused of causing the Black Plague to a monastery, and The Sorcerer's Apprentice, in which he played Balthazar Blake, the sorcerer.
In 1988, Cage began dating actress Christina Fulton, who later bore their son, Weston Coppola Cage (born December 26, 1990). Weston is lead singer of the black metal band Eyes of Noctum, and appeared in Cage's film Lord of War as Vladimir, a young Ukrainian mechanic who quickly disarms a Mil Mi-24 helicopter.
Cage has been married three times. His first wife was actress Patricia Arquette (married on April 8, 1995, divorce finalized on May 18, 2001). Cage's second marriage was to singer/songwriter Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis Presley. Cage is an Elvis fan and used the star as the base of his performance in Wild at Heart. Presley and Cage married on August 10, 2002 and filed for divorce on November 25, 2002 which was finalized on May 16, 2004. The divorce proceeding was longer than the marriage. Cage met his third and current wife Alice Kim on July 30, 2004. Kim is a former waitress who previously worked at the Los Angeles restaurant Kabuki and at the Los Angeles-based Korean nightclub, Le Privé. Their son, Kal-El (named after Superman's birth name), was born on October 3, 2005.
In December 2009, his ex-girlfriend Christina Fulton sued Cage for $13 million and the house she is living in. The suit was in response to an order that she leave the dwelling that was brought about by Cage's financial difficulties.
On April 15, 2011, at 11:30 pm, Cage was arrested in New Orleans in the city's famed French Quarter district for suspicion of domestic abuse battery, disturbing the peace and public intoxication, after a police officer was flagged down by onlookers after Cage allegedly grabbed his wife's upper arm while appearing to be under the influence of alcohol. Cage was held in police custody until a bail of $11,000 was posted by Duane "Dog" Chapman. He was later ordered to appear in court on May 31, 2011. On May 5, 2011, it was announced that the charges against Cage had been dropped.
|This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).|