Nic Cage Talks About Debts, 2-Headed Snake

He's finally paid off his debt to the IRS
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 23, 2022 3:08 PM CDT
Nic Cage Talks About Debts, 2-Headed Snake
Nicolas Cage arrives for the world premiere of "The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent" at the Paramount Theatre during the South by Southwest Film Festival on Saturday, March 12, 2022, in Austin, Texas.   (Photo by Jack Plunkett/Invision/AP)

It's been a turbulent couple of decades for Nicolas Cage, but he's happily married, his career is in back on track, and with his highly praised new movie The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, his debts to the IRS and other creditors have finally been paid off. Some highlights from a new GQ interview:

  • His two-headed snake. Interviewer Gabriella Paiella spoke to Cage at his Nevada home, where the kitchen was full of turtles and other animals he ended up with after the owner of a local pet store died. He said he plans to donate the animals as he did with a two-headed snake he once owned. Cage said he bought the snake for $80,000 after he had a dream about a two-headed bird but gave it to the Audubon Zoo after he stopped the heads fighting while he was feeding it. It was donated in 2008 and died recently at age 14. Cage told People last year that he named the snake Harvey after Batman villain Harvey Dent—aka Two-Face.

  • Being a meme. Cage said he was initially uncomfortable with Cage memes and supercuts like "Nicolas Cage Freak-Out Montage," but he's learned to live with them. He said the real Nic Cage, however, is very different from manic moments on-screen. "The misconception that I'm crazy, which people seem to enjoy, the madman or whatever—to which I simply say you can't survive 43 years in Hollywood or star in over 120 movies if you're crazy," he said.
  • Where the money went. Cage stressed that it wasn't purchases like a $276,000 dinosaur skull that wrecked his finances. Instead, it was too many risky investments in top-end properties, including an English castle, and trying to juggle too many mortgages when the 2008 crash hit. "I didn't believe in stocks because I think they're like gambling and they're dangerous, but you can dump a stock,” he said. "You can't get out of real estate that quickly.”

  • He gave every movie his all. With debts mounting and blockbuster roles drying up, Cage appeared in a long string of video-on-demand movies, but he insists that he cared about all of them. "When I was doing four movies a year, back to back to back, I still had to find something in them to be able to give it my all," he said. "They didn't work, all of them. Some of them were terrific, like Mandy, but some of them didn’t work. But I never phoned it in. So if there was a misconception, it was that. That I was just doing it and not caring. I was caring."
  • He's already bought his tomb. Cage, 58, has already bought his tomb—a 9-foot-tall white pyramid in New Orleans' famous St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. He said he bought it in 2010, not longer after father, August Coppola, died. "It's just a wise thing to do to take pressure off your family," he told Paiella. "Who wants to be dealing with all that when someone's passed on?"

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  • He's got a baby on the way. Cage married his fifth wife, 27-year-old Riko Shibata, a year ago and they have a baby on the way. "I am a romantic, and when I'm in love, I want to give that person everything I can," he said of marriage. "It's my expression of saying, ‘I love you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you.’ And this is it for me ... I mean, this is not happening again. This is it."
  • Why they're honeymooning in Venice. Cage said that when they finally take their honeymoon, they will be going to Venice, where he scattered his father's ashes in the Grand Canal years ago, as per his wishes. He said that after a long journey, during which security at LAX inspected the box with the ashes, he got a water taxi to the ancient canal. "It's midnight, and it's a full moon, and it's Halloween," he said. As he started pouring the ashes in the water, "all the church bells start ringing—all at the same time."
Click for the full GQ profile. (Read more Nicolas Cage stories.)

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