Nicholas Cage Reveals How Acting Is Like Mixed Martial Arts

For veteran actor Nicolas Cage, acting is more like mixed martial arts.

Nicholas Cage talks about martial arts and his upcoming films

Nicholas Cage
Nicholas Cage

Speaking at the Hollywood Reporter’s annual Actor Roundtable with more renowned actors — or thespians, as often preferred by Nicholas Cage — the icon went on to compare acting to Jeet Kune Do, the self-made style of fighting, invented by legendary martial artist Bruce Lee. When asked about his first lesson if he were to give an acting class, Cage revealed, “I would say there’s no real style of acting. It’s almost like a mixed martial art.”

He continued, “It can be whatever you want it to be. You can combine, you can create your Jeet Kune Do with acting. Don’t get trapped in a style. Don’t get trapped in naturalism, and be open to your dreams. Your imagination is your most important tool, and there are ways to augment your imagination, healthy ways to augment your imagination so that you’re not necessarily doing, you’re being. Dreams. Dreams are important.”

Nicholas Cage
Nicholas Cage

Cage, who is the nephew of director Francis Ford Coppola, has been acting his entire life and is well-known for his unique approach towards method acting. Whether he’s playing a nerdy action hero in The Rock, or a hard-hearted arms dealer in Lord of War, or even a psychopathic criminal in Face/Off, Cage always brings some really over-the-top energy to every role that he does, which has made him the subject of various memes. But Nicholas Cage has also garnered some critical acclaim for his performances in films like Pig and Leaving Las Vegas.

Bruce Lee once said of Jeet Kune Do, “I have not invented a ‘new style,’ composite, modified or otherwise that is set within distinct form as apart from ‘this’ method or ‘that’ method. On the contrary, I hope to free my followers from clinging to styles, patterns, or molds.” This philosophy has often been said to pave the way for professional MMA, a combat sport that virtually allows all fighting styles and combinations thereof.

Cage was joined in the roundtable discussion by Peter Dinklage, Andrew Garfield (Tick, Tick…Boom!), Jonathan Majors (Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania), and Simon Rex — a diverse group of actors who demonstrate that there isn’t a single formula behind success. The troupe also discussed aspects of their craft such as auditions, style, masculinity, and even the impact of the theater closing due to the pandemic, as well as promoting upcoming projects, including Cage’s Pig.

Cage is all set to be in a number of 2022 films, notably playing himself in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.

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