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Interview: Nicolas Cage

By PETER KEOUGH  |  November 24, 2009

You drank while making Leaving Las Vegas. In this film, you did it completely sober. Did you draw on past experiences?
Yeah, but way-past experiences — like, so far in the past and so brief that it was really difficult to recall it, so it became more a character of the imagination and less of photo-realism.

I heard that the monologue about the football player sprouting antlers was drawn from an actual experience.
I had recalled when everyone [I was with] had the same hallucination at the same time, which I thought was wild. And then I did have one experience in Australia: I was doing a movie called Knowing, and I had a massive sinus infection, and I had to go to the doctor in order to complete my day's work. In Australia, oddly enough, they still use a very minor, minor amount of solution of cocaine in the gauze, and they pack it in your nose to open up your sinuses, and that gave me a little of the feeling of that to help design a character.

What was with all the lizards?
That was all Werner — I mean, that's his domain.

Because I read somewhere that you have a lizard tattoo'd on your back.
It's possible.

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