Nicolas Cage: “it really sucks to be famous”

Nicolas Cage wants your sympathy.

On the heels of Alec Baldwin’s recent resignation from public life in a stunt that involved him writing a cover story for a major American publication, Nicolas Cage now says he, too, has had enough of being famous.

Take it away, Nick:

“I started acting because I wanted to be James Dean,” Cage said, lamenting his celebrity before a gaggle of journalists at the SXSW festival in Austin on Monday. “I saw him in Rebel Without a Cause, East of Eden. Nothing affected — no rock song, no classical music — the way Dean affected me in Eden. It blew my mind. I was like, ‘That’s what I want to do.’”

Cage continued.

“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.”

Smartphones really bum out Alec Baldwin too:


Nicholas Cage speaks about his latest movie “Joe” at SXSW on Monday, March 10, 2014 in Austin, Texas.(AP Photo/The Daily Texan, Chelsea Purgahn)

“There was a time the entire world didn’t have a camera in their pocket—the first thing that cell phones did was to kill the autograph business,” Baldwin mused in his New York cover story. “Nobody cares about your autograph. There are cameras everywhere, and there are media outlets for them to “file their story.” They take your picture in line for coffee. They’re trying to get a picture of your baby. Everyone’s got a camera. When they’re done, they tweet it. It’s … unnatural.”

It doesn’t take much for either man to wax philosophic, but Cage, especially, seems to have had a lot of existential thoughts lately. In July of last year, the Guardian published a lengthy profile of the enigmatic actor, in which he offered other observations on fame.

“Well, celebrity is a word I take great umbrage with,” Cage said. “I’m actively anti-celebrity. I’m about creative expression.”

Terrence McCoy is a foreign affairs writer at the Washington Post. He served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Cambodia and studied international politics at Columbia University. Follow him on Twitter here.
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