The revaluation of Nicolas Cage, beyond the internet memes, is a reality, and it wouldn’t have been possible without titles like Mandy, Color Out of Space or, more recently, Pig. In this film by Michael Sarnoski, Cage plays a poor man in search for his pig, and upon release it has achieved unanimous critical acclaim. Some talk awards, some say it is the best moment of his career, and although Pig came out last July 16, we can delight ourselves with its protagonist’s promotional tour, which has led him to participate in the latest issue of The Hollywood Reporter.
The publication opens with a roundtable between some of the actors who have garnered the most accolades this season. They are Jonathan Majors, Peter Dinklage, Simon Rex, Andrew Garfield and Cage himself, who this year will release a film as eccentric as The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, where he plays himself. Thanks to the interview we learned of that time the actor asked his uncle Francis Ford Coppola to allow him to play Sonny Corleone’s son in The Godfather: Part III, and how he refused and ended up giving it to Andy García. It wasn’t the only surprising revelation.
At one point the actors were asked about their experience with animals on set. Majors dominated the conversation thanks to his appearance in the Netflix western The Harder They Fall, but when bringing up the topic of horses, Cage couldn’t help but remember a shocking anecdote. The actor will soon release (such is his working pace) his own western too, Butcher’s Crossing. Directed by Gabe Polsky, the filming of this movie almost ended with Cage in hospital, as he recounted at the roundtable. “At least you had a nice horse,” he began telling Majors.
“My horse on Butcher’s Crossing, named Rain Man, wanted to kill me,” he recounted. “Rain Man? Where’d you shoot that?” Majors asked. “Montana. I was in Blackfoot Country. Rain Man kept trying to knock me off and would try to run my head into roofs, and then I’d get off and try to be nice to him, and he would headbutt me. It was not fun. I’ve always had good experiences with animals. I always had great experiences with horses, but Rain Man wanted to kill me,” Cage laments. “I’m so glad I got through that movie alive.”
“The director’s name was Gabe [Polsky]. The last shot, it was just like, ‘Gabe, I’m not getting on a horse again.’ Then one of the Native Americans said, ‘Oh, Nic’s just going to get off the horse. We’ll get on …’ ‘OK, fine. I’ll do it.’ So I got on the horse and literally, again, he kept trying to throw me off. I was like, ‘That’s it. That was my last shot, and you had to make it almost like a stunt. You did make it a stunt. You almost killed me on my last shot in the movie.’ As you can tell, I’ve got post-traumatic stress disorder from Rain Man.”