Nicolas Cage Praises Hayden’s Star Wars Work

Nicolas Cage co-stars with Hayden Christensen in “Outcast,” and in this video interview with IGN, Cage praises Hayden’s turn in the Star Wars films, describing it as “soulful” and “superb.”

H/T Eddie


33 Responses to “Nicolas Cage Praises Hayden’s Star Wars Work”

  1. M. Marshall Says:

    Good for him.

  2. darth66zannah Says:

    Hayden is a great actor…

  3. Tony Ferris Says:

    Saw this the other day. Nice.

    Unfortunately Cage himself, is an actor whose talent is all too often called into question. He can veer towards the cartoonish on occasion, which draws down a lot of criticism, but when he’s on, he’s he is truly one of the best around.

    • Adam D. Bram (The Nilbog) Says:

      I think Cage plays his roles the opposite of what people expect. Like, if a role would normally be played subtle he goes over-the-top, and if a role would normally be over-the-top he plays it subtle.

      An acquired taste, but I like it.

    • Jim Raynor Says:

      Yeah, Cage is also a favorite punching bag among fanboy and critical circles. As nice as this was to see, I’m afraid this endorsement won’t change many minds. Cage will be dismissed as another lousy actor, as if most internet critics are actors, writers, or creators of any type at all.

      I think a lot of the criticism toward Hayden stems from a fundamental ignorance of what his character is supposed to be. Anakin is clearly portrayed as a troubled young man with underlying anger, raised in an oppressive environment that explicitly instructs people to stifle their emotions. He’s NOT supposed to be cool, suave, or charismatic. He’s supposed to be awkward when expressing his emotions. Hayden conveyed the role as he should have.

      I know people in real life, the products of old-fashioned and restrictive cultures, who act just like he did. Critics call that “wooden,” as if emotionally restrained people don’t exist.

      Fanboy geeks themselves, many of whom rage on the internet while bottling it all up in real life social situations, probably veer a lot closer to Anakin than they would like to admit.

      But instead, they think Anakin should’ve been a simple power fantasy. Kicking butt in battle while spouting cool one-liners and romancing the hot girl.

      These are the guys who gravitate to minor characters like Darth Maul and Boba Fett, glorifying them for being “badass” when their actual roles in movies were quite limited. The guys who also think that Vader was awesome and badass, when objectively, he was a psychopath who was prone to violent outbursts and grandstanding. The end of ROTJ basically showed how broken and pathetic he really was underneath his armor.

      Yet the fanboy consensus is that Vader is too awesome to have ever come out of someone as “whiny” and emotionally weak as Hayden’s Anakin.

      • Hunk a Junk Says:

        Jim, you’ve touched on the same “geek psychology” issues I’ve long argued. Geeks love comicbook heroes because it’s what they fantasize about being. They’d love to be brave, badass, get the girl and shoot a guy in the face just because. The reason they hate Anakin and, to a greater degree, Jar Jar is because those character are closer to what Geeks are in real life. Jar Jar is awkward, clumsy, funny-looking and no one likes him. That’s right in a geek’s emotional discomfort zone. Same is true for Anakin. He’s whiny, selfish, suffers from persecution and mommy issues. Again, that’s a mirror that many geeks feel uncomfortable looking into.

      • lazypadawan Says:

        Yup. I’ll also add that I think a lot of nerdmen don’t like “pretty boys.”

      • Nobody Says:

        Sad thing is, everything you’re talking about with Anakin’s character– that he’s selfish, awkward, emotionally insecure, etc– those are all what makes him more relatable to me than the other SW characters. I can genuinely identify with him in a way that I can’t with the wish-fulfilment aspects of too-cool-for-school Han or goody-two-shoes Luke.

    • lazypadawan Says:

      “The bees! Not the bees!” Even when Nic Cage is in a bad movie, he will make it the most memorable and entertaining bad movie you’ve seen in a long time.

      That said, he’s had a long, successful career in a lot of quirky classics. I think the geeks hate him because they didn’t like “Ghost Rider.”

  4. Alexander Says:

    Cage is really good. You gotta see him in Valley Girl to truly appreciate what a natural talent he always was from the beginning. Also, I was actually scared of him after I saw him in Kiss of Death.
    Peggy Sue Got Married, Raising Arizona, Moonstruck, Vampire’s Kiss, Kiss of Death and Leaving Las Vegas. He’s quite an excellent actor, so this is big praise.

  5. Hunk a Junk Says:

    But but but… doesn’t everyone know we’re supposed to cherry-pick Hayden’s performance, focus only on the flaws and magnify them all out of proportion???

    • peacetrainjedi Says:

      I know. What is Cage thinking? Giving a reasonable statement like that. The nerve of some people these days…

      • Hunk a Junk Says:

        I mean, there were NO wooden performances or bad acting in the OT. Nope. None. Ever. All of it solid Oscar gold.

      • BansheeGun Says:

        Billy Dee Williams and Harrison Ford did pretty lame acting jobs in ROTJ.

      • Jim Raynor Says:

        Lots of fanboys aren’t even talking about the OT as much as the idealized version of the OT that only exists in their own heads.

        You have the wannabe artists who say they prefer the purity of filmmaking versus the toy commercial prequels, ignoring the fact that the OT revolutionized movie merchandising. The people who complain about CGI and ignore the fake looking AT-ATs and Taun Tauns in TESB. Middle aged fanboys who say that SW is being kiddified, as if it wasn’t always meant for kids. People who make videos picking apart the lightsaber choreography of the prequels down to split seconds and inches, as if any of the gunplay in ANH would pass muster in this modern age of “realistic” action movies with military consultants (seriously, the heroes and villains barely aim their guns in ANH). Lots of people on the forums saying how bad the prequels were written, when the OT relied quite heavily on plot holes and stupid villains as well.

        When I was a kid, we all knew that Stormtroopers couldn’t shoot straight and that the good guys won because the bad guys weren’t very smart. Now, we have overgrown fanboys who refuse to admit to any of the silliness or shortcomings in the OT. They’re so insecure that they have to tell everyone it was perfect, and they miss the point about SW being fun pulp entertainment for kids and family audiences.

    • lazypadawan Says:

      It’s fine not to harp on or dwell on perceived faults in the so-called OT. It’s just disingenuous to pretend that many of the things they say about the prequels weren’t also said by somebody at some point about the first set of films.

      • Tony Ferris Says:

        This one truth proves the argument that it is not the quality, or perceived lack thereof, of the movies that turned people against the prequels, but rather they simply weren’t to their taste.

        They wanted something different to what George Lucas was interested in providing.

        Personally, I think my love for the prequels stems largely from an appreciation for how much they don’t behave as expected, and reframe the events of the original trilogy. It’s worth noting that this is something that Star Wars has always done. Empire reframes the events of Hope. Jedi reframes the events of them both, and this works backwards and forwards throughout the saga.

  6. Tony Ferris Says:

    For the record, here’s a list of movies in which Nic Cage is either solid, or brilliant (mostly brilliant)…



    Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (probably my favourite Nic Cage movie and performance. It’s an acid trip of a movie, and he just lets rip.)

    Lord of War (I’m not the hugest fan of this flick but, again, Cage is great.)

    Matchstick Men (An underrated little gem of a movie from Ridley Scott.)

    Adaptation. (Masterpiece, plain and simple.)

    Bringing Out the Dead (The film’s probably Scorsese’s weakest, but Cage is fantastic in the lead)


    Con Air

    The Rock

    Leaving Las Vegas

    Wild at Heart

    Raising Arizona

    Rumble Fish

    • Nobody Says:

      Hey, speaking of underrated movies– I really like Bringing Out the Dead. I wouldn’t call it Scorsese’s weakest at all. That would probably be… I dunno. I didn’t care for “Hugo”.

  7. darth66zannah Says:

    good news! Hayden just got casted as the lead actor/lieutenant in a WW 2 zombie thriller “untot (german for undead)…glad to see him getting work and doing what he loves…screw the haters

    • Adam D. Bram (The Nilbog) Says:

      He’d get even more work if I could just find time to finish my damn novel and get demand for a film. He’s perfect for the part I originally wrote for myself back when I thought I was going to be a famous actor.

    • lazypadawan Says:

      Hayden’s currently shooting “90 Minutes In Heaven” with Kate Bosworth, based on the book of the same name.

      • Nobody Says:

        …God, that’s going to get torn apart.

      • M. Marshall Says:

        Yeah, I can hear all the fanboys around the world whispering, “chick flick”.

      • lazypadawan Says:

        Better yet, it’s a Christian movie so all of those pop culture hipster types are gonna hate it! But I will say this…Christian-themed movies can be hugely profitable. Two of the most profitable movies of 2014 were “God’s Not Dead” and “Heaven Is For Real.”

      • Nobody Says:

        Let’s be honest, though, Christian movies tend to be crap on pretty much every level. Granted, I find hipster-atheism insufferable too, but I just kinda hate all of these “I had a near death experience vision that definitely proves the afterlife is real” books and movies. All it does is invite ridicule because of how easy it is to pick apart the subjective, unprovable claims. Do I believe in God, the afterlife, the divine? Yeah, but stuff like this is akin to being in SETI while surrounded by tinfoil hat wearing idiots who take “Ancient Aliens” seriously.

      • lazypadawan Says:

        I never said they were good–though “Heaven Is For Real” wasn’t too bad–just profitable. It’s the same deal for horror movies. Most of them are bad but they can cost next to nothing to make, there’s a ready-made audience for them, and they are often fairly profitable.

      • Nobody Says:

        True. I guess I wish that stories like these were handled with more maturity, skepticism and imagination, and not just blind hope and optimism. I’m definitely a spiritual person, but movies like these make “Touched by an Angel” look like Joseph Campbell by comparison. I guess I just don’t think it gives spirituality a good name, makes it look foolish. And of course, it’s going to make Hayden look foolish.

  8. madmediaman Says:

    Moonstruck… Actors would be lucky to have that film in their resume, and his performance is brilliant.

  9. Stefan Kraft Says:

    A German newspaper once had an infographic with a Cartesian coordinate system for Cage’s performances… One axis was “serious / comedy role”, the other “good / bad performance”. You could find points everywhere! The whole graphic was also meant as a (rather) positive endorsement of Cage.

  10. Nick Skywalker Says:

    It’s refreshing to see someone actually praise Hayden’s work instead of vilifying him as the worst thing to ever happen to acting.

  11. Retcon Says:

    That is nice Hayden is getting some props for once.

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