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Nicolas Cage Takes Acting Advice from His Own Dreams: It’s a ‘Gift’

Nicolas Cage is living out his “Dream Scenario.”

The star of the upcoming A24 film revealed to The Guardian that he asks his subconscious for acting tips from his dreams. “If I’m stressed about how to play a scene, I’ll ask for a gift from my dreams,” Cage said. “Sometimes I’m so nervous about not having any hook on a scene that I’ll go to bed and dream about it and then I’ll get some residual feeling that I can apply to the performance.”

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Cage has also had “beautifully weird” premonitions from his dreams, including a “wonderfully bizarre” experience where he dreamt of a two-headed eagle, and then was presented with the opportunity to purchase a two-headed snake the following day.

As for his acting career, Cage said he was blessed with five scripts over his decades-long career that did not require a single word to be changed, including his latest film “Dream Scenario,” as well as “Adaptation,” “Raising Arizona,” “Vampire’s Kiss,” and “Pig.”

“I’ll go on record as saying I think it’s a masterpiece,” Cage said of “Dream Scenario.”

Looking back, Cage also gave the woman behind “Valley Girl” her due credit for shaping his career.

The actor further told The Guardian that Martha Coolidge’s advice to have his character seem hurt but not defeated after a setback onscreen was “the greatest piece of direction” he’s received to this day. The film, loosely based on “Romeo and Juliet,” starred Cage as a punk who crashes a preppy party and falls in love at first sight with a fellow high schooler (Deborah Foreman). The indie film had a $325,000 budget and Cage is credited as Nicolas Coppola.

“Oh my God! That was the greatest piece of direction I’ve ever received from a filmmaker,” Cage said. “I’m so glad you mentioned Martha because I want to go on record as saying that without her, none of this would have happened. It was because of what she did with me that people knew who I was.”

Cage, who hails from the Coppola family and is Sofia Coppola’s cousin and Francis Ford Coppola’s nephew, credited his aunt Talia Shire for further acting advice. Shire starred in her brother Francis Ford’s “The Godfather” and “Rocky.”

“I’m so glad you’re bringing up aunt Tally,” Cage said. “When I was only seven or eight, she was the one who said to me, ‘Naturalism is a style.’ That stuck with me.”

Cage embodied (and somewhat mocked) his naturalism technique for “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” where he played a heightened version of himself. The “Dream Scenario” actor said upon the film’s release in 2022, “I think I’ve done some of the best work in the last 10 years of my entire life and I put ‘Massive Talent’ in that period, which has been, in some ways, marginalized by certain folks in the media. … But in all that time, in the 43 years I’ve been doing it, ‘Massive Talent’ is hands down the scariest thing I’ve ever done.”

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