Nicolas Cage at SXSW: ‘It Sucks to Be Famous Right Now’

Nicolas Cage has a lot on his mind, and he wasn’t afraid to share his thoughts at a talk at SXSW Monday, moderated by his “Joe” writer-director David Gordon Green.

During the hour-long session, Cage talked about how his desire to become an actor stemmed from watching James Dean in “East of Eden” and “Rebel Without a Cause.” He then proceeded to discuss eloquently how film criticism has deteriorated and why it “sucks to be famous” nowadays.

Here are his quotes in full from the interactive festival:

“I started acting because I wanted to be James Dean. I saw him in “Rebel Without a Cause,” “East of Eden.” Nothing affected me — no rock song, no classical music — the way Dean affected in “Eden.” It blew my mind. I was like, “That’s what I want to do.” This was before everyone had a thing called a Smartphone, and before the advent of the “celebutard” — just being famous for famous’ sake. I’m not complaining, but it really sucks to be famous right now.”

“Now even the art of film criticism… now in the LA Times, the critic who reviewed “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans,” incorporated how many homes I bought or sold into the review. What the hell does Lindsay Lohan’s personal life have to do with her performance in “The Canyons”? It should always be about the work itself. What difference does it make if Bill Clinton had an affair — how does that affect his performance as President?

“In my opinion, I don’t want to see personal aspects of someone’s life eclipse the work itself,” Cage said.

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