When you hear the name Nicolas Cage, what words come to mind? Whacky? Crazy? Over-the-top? Sure, but has Cage always been this wide-eyed, off-the-wall, over-acting ball of insane energy that we know and love?

Many believe that after Cage won his Academy Award for 1995’s Leaving Las Vegas, things began to change. The summer of '96 brought us The Rock, followed a year later by both Con Air and Face/Off. This is what the masses refer to as Cage’s so-called “tipping point.” The point where he went from Oscar-winner, and David Lynch collaborator, and Coen brothers darling, to—well, modern Nic Cage.

But as a diehard Cage fanatic, I say that you simply can’t describe the trajectory of his career as though it tilted on the axis of a single year. And honestly, it’s a bit insulting to his legacy to do so. After all, what about Vampire’s Kiss? It was released almost ten years before Con Air and Face/Off. And you just can’t say that Cage suddenly became a bad actor after '97. Adaptation was released in 2002. If you don’t remember it, it’s just that little, movie in which Cage plays two different characters and got nominated for on Oscar. The moral of the story is that Nic Cage does whatever the hell he wants. And all we can do is sit back and enjoy the ride. You might want to buckle in though.
Find out more about the careers of filmmakers we love with our video, Taika Waititi's Blueprints for Success. And if you loved Cage as Charlie Kaufman in Adaptation., check out our video list of other actors who have played famous writers. And finally, stream Cage's Oscar winning performance in Leaving Las Vegas, right here on Fandor!