From playing Marvel’s Spirit of Vengeance, Nicolas Cage reveals he wouldn’t mind playing The Spectre at the direct competition.
Of course, the actor played Ghost Rider in the Marvel Sony films, and now while participating in a Reddit AMA about his latest undead character, Dracula in Renfield, Nicolas Cage says The Spectre would be fun to play.
“Ohh! Yeah! Jim Corrigan, the Spectre (old DC comic character). That would be a fun one. But that’s a hard one to pull off because he’s virtually invincible, he has no weakness. You need characters that have a kryptonite, that have a flaw, but he’s kinda unbeatable. But that would be a fun one,” replied Cage.
The AMA also features Renfield co-star Nicolas Hoult who stars as the titular character and who also isn’t a stranger to comic book movies as the actor starred as Beast in the X-Men movies.
Check out what the undead pair had to say to fans on Reddit below including answering a question about Keanu Reeves. Renfield opens on April 14, 2023.
Nicolas Cage and Nicholas Hoult Reddit AMA:
Cage: What’s your favorite lesser-known performance out of your filmography?
Hoult: Was Renfield an easier or harder shoot than Fury Road?
Cage: Umm, there was a little cameo that I did that lasted all of about uh one minute in a movie called Never on Tuesday. I don’t recommend the entire film. But um, it was a performance I did, I didn’t get paid but the agreement was with the director and whoever was financing the picture that if I do it, they would let me do whatever I wanted. So it was a complete avant-garde experiment and of course I played a character who had a prosthetic nose which was very long and pointed. And I had this whole concept of this guy who had a very long nose and was having trouble meeting girls so his father bought him a Ferrari Testarossa to help him with that. So I showed up on set with a prosthetic nose and a very high voice driving a Ferrari Testarossa and of course it was very frustrating for all the other actors. They like it now, apparently, but at the time it was like you can’t really fire me because that was the agreement. You said I could do whatever I wanted and he did and so that’s my favorite lesser known performance.
Hoult: But wait did you bring the Ferrari yourself?
Cage: No, it was somebody’s Ferrari and they took it away from me because I was driving it too fast.
Hoult: What were you inspired by?
Cage: Just sort of like a troubled live action version of Pinocchio
Hoult: Oooh umm easier or harder to shoot than Fury Road. I mean location-wise easier. New Orleans was wonderful. The art and food and people and everything. It was less isolating than the desert in Namibia. Ummm but the shoot was more contained in terms of the time. So what we were trying to achieve in terms of the scenes but then also the stunt work we had to move really quickly, so that made it very difficult and it’s also a vampire movie so a lot of it is nights. Umm which I’m not a night owl so I would struggle with that.
Hey Nicolas and Nicholas!! How does it feel to be reunited with your The Weather Man costar? How did the filming process of Renfield compare to The Weather Man? Thanks for all the great films you have both made!! Looking forward to your future projects.
Cage: Well, I was very happy to get back on set with Nick. In The Weather Man, I was starring in the movie and Nick was playing my son and supporting me, so that was a different dynamic. In Renfield, Nick is starring in the movie and I’m supporting him, so they’re two very different kinds of approaches to film performance. Supporting actors, in my view, have to support their lead and get in step with where they’re going, setting the pace and the flavors they’re bringing, so it all coalesces. I was completely in awe, actually, of Nick Hoult at 14, because he had so much poise and he was so confident and I had no doubt that he would subsequently become the star he has become. So, yeah I was very happy to work with him again.
Hoult: I think, for me at 14, I was overwhelmed with everything that was happening. Intimidated by it, but also made to feel very calm and safe with Nick. Side note – I also got to eat my first ever corndog in his presence. It was in a scene, which was obviously a big moment that stuck with me. But then yeah, to get to work with him again, as an adult, I get to appreciate much more of his work. [To Cage] At 14, I hadn’t seen a majority of your filmography. Now, going back as an adult, I’ve had time to delve into your work and I’ve been inspired by so much of it. Seeing what you bring to each scene and moment is really special. I get to see one of the most iconic actors playing one of the most iconic roles ever. It’s magic.
Cage: Well thank you. Also, The Weather Man was his first movie. It was also the first time he had the marvelous culinary American experience of the corndog. We had talked about it before, but when he had it, Nick Hoult just said “Go USA!” [both laughing]
Are there any historical portrayals of Dracula or Renfield that you love, or portrayals you studied as reference for your role as these characters?
Hoult: I watched all of them but Dwight Frye is obviously such an iconic wonderful performance and one that I did try to take a lot of inspiration from.
Cage: Dwight Frye in my view stole the original Dracula from Universal Movies. He ran away with that movie. It was an incredible performance. And now my favorite Renfield is Nick Hoult over here, it’s a true story, he reinvented the character. He brought tons of charm, wit, and vulnerability to it. So those are my favorites. Dracula itself, I think that while Bela Lugosi was an enormous impact on the character actually and he did it without any fangs, ummm, wasn’t my Dracula. My Dracula was Christopher Lee and the Hammer Horror films. I loved his look and uh, the danger and the animality with which he brought to the character. But my favorite vampire on film was not a Universal vampire it’s the old Max Schreck performance and the Nosferatu picture. Gary Oldman was brilliant also as Dracula.
For both of you, what was your most challenging role? I’m a big fan of both of your bodies of work (Mr. Cage, I loved you in The Weatherman the most, Mr. Hoult you were superb in everything I’ve seen, but you were most amazing in The Great). Thank you for doing this AMA.
Hoult: They’re all difficult for different reasons. I don’t have as great an answer as that… but playing Beast was quite challenging simply because of the makeup. [To Cage] Which reminds me, I really felt for you in this. You took it in stride.
Cage: Thank you.
Cage: My most difficult challenge was playing myself in The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent. No muscle in my body tells me to play myself in a movie, and I wanted them to cast somebody else.
What would you guys say is the coolest aspect of film production in general?
Cage: My favorite thing is film performance. That’s why I wanted to be an actor. For this I got to see Nick’s performance switching on a dime to be vulnerable at a moment’s notice. It is such a joy to watch.
Hoult: Something that I love is when you’re on a set and you open a drawer and someone has taken the time to write a letter. It may never end up on screen, but it’s so incredible that they took the extra step to make each aspect of the film feel more real and to make that moment special.
Cage: And there was a lot of that in this movie on the Renfield production.
If you could swap one role from each other’s careers (eg, Nicholas now stars in Face Off, Nic in Fury Road): what would you choose?
Cage: Oooh, I mean I’d like to try and play Renfield and I’d like to see what Nick Hoult gets up to as Dracula. I’d like to switch. And then have it switch back and then switch back again.
Hoult: I wouldn’t want to do it because I love it so much as it is, but Adaptation. Truly brilliant movie on every level. But that’s not one that I’d want to but it’s just one that I’m in awe of in what you did do and the film in general I love.
Cage: Oh thank you, and by the way I think you would crush it
What was Hoult’s favorite part of shooting the series “Skins”? Tbh that’s really where I think he truly blew up. He was awesome on that show. Still holds up til this day. Just a super raw coming of age show.
Hoult: We were all (the cast) growing up together. So, whilst we were pretending to do all those things on the show and be those characters, outside of it, we were becoming great friends and experiencing all those things in real life. We were 16 and 17, so to share that time with those people and still be friends with them now is very special. I feel lucky to be a part of it.
What’s your favorite Keanu Reeves movie?
Hoult: Hmmm. I liked the first John Wick. Speed as well.
Cage: Well… Keanu kicked my ass at billiards one night. He came up to my house on his motorcycle, and he was making these impossible shots. He said “now I dunno if I can get that shot or this shot” and he made every single shot. So I have mixed emotions about the skill that Keanu has because he completely dominated me at pool. Umm, I like some of the early stuff like Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. I thought he was great in River’s Edge. He was just great in that movie, yeah.
Did either of you do any extra training or research to prepare for your roles?
Cage: I’m just going to go on record now, Nick is a hell of a dancer, and he worked his ass off to do this incredible dance sequence which didn’t make it into the movie, but it was brilliant. That was a lot of work.
Hoult: That was, yeah, that was a lot of work and rehearsals. Choreography came up with this wonderful fantasy sequence of Renfield dancing with bugs, just over the moon with love. But yeah, sadly it didn’t make it into the film but maybe it will end up as a deleted scene?
Was any real blood consumed in the making of this film? You know just in case you guys needed to go full method to get into character.
Cage: No reason in terms of method, but the fangs were genuine fangs, they were ceramic and quite pointy. So I did bite my lip a few times which made me drink my own blood.
Hoult: I quite like the taste of my own blood.
Cage: There is something warm and fuzzy about it.
Mr. Cage, you’ve done Ghost Rider and now Dracula. Any other undead characters you’d like to play?
Cage: Ohh! Yeah! Jim Corrigan, the Spectre (old DC comic character). That would be a fun one. But that’s a hard one to pull off because he’s virtually invincible, he has no weakness. You need characters that have a kryptonite, that have a flaw, but he’s kinda unbeatable. But that would be a fun one.
You guys filmed in New Orleans. Did anything paranormal or creepy happen during production?
Cage: …not during production…
Hoult: We were inside a church at one point, during a hurricane. It wasn’t paranormal, but it was eerie. We had to stop filming and all gather together towards the center of this church and wait out this hurricane.
Cage: If you factor in the notion of Zeus, it could be paranormal.
Which movie from each other is your favourite?
Cage: One of the recent ones, THE MENU, I just thought it was so delicious. That movie is about cooking so that is the right word. It was one of my favorite movies of the year. Darkest comedy in the most delicious way.
Hoult: Face Off, Con Air, Pig, Adaptation, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.
You two are amazing, and this movie looks so fun! With that said, what was the funniest thing that Awkwafina did while shooting Renfield?
Hoult: There’s a line that she added (in a scene in the apartment and I was making her cookies) and she said “I don’t want your murder cookies.” That was a very funny line that she made up. That gets me every time.
Cage: She has such a funny delivery. One of the best in Hollywood.
Mr. Cage, what is your favorite silent film?
Cage: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. I was completely transported at the embryonic age of 5. The sets were built using these cardboard structures and the effect is that it all puts you off kilter and puts you in a headspace of not knowing where you are. Kind of like LA after midnight.
Is Dracula actually as bad of a boss as Renfield makes him out to be?
Hoult: I mean he’s horrendous on some levels, but he’s also quite caring and nurturing on others. So it’s always a matter of perspective, isn’t it? If you saw a vignette of the nicest moments of their lives together it would seem picturesque and wonderful. And then at its worst it probably is horrific and as bad as it can get. So it’s both things at the same time.
Cage: I’m fairly certain that Dracula and Renfield had a few wonderful laughs together over the years. Big laughs? That’s probably the better word to use.
Hoult: I like the idea of Frankenstein’s monster, but Dracula would be up there as one of my favorites as well.
Cage: Frankenstein is first the wolfman is second.
Mr. Hoult: I just wanted to say thank you for the criminally underrated gem that is Warm Bodies.
Hoult: Thank you so much. In some ways, tonally, these are similar films and I love making those horror comedy/twisted genres. If you like those, hopefully you’ll like Renfield.
For Nick and Nick. What’s one thing about your co Star that you were surprised to find out.
Hoult: I learned today that Nick edited Shadow of The Vampire, which I didn’t know and I was surprised by it.
Cage: I don’t think anything surprises me about Nick Hoult. He’s making all the right moves and I knew he would.
What’s your guy’s favorite soups?
Cage: Good question u/chunkybuttsoupdinner. Pasta fagioli. It’s a good combination of protein and carbs. It’s a nice protein blast. Gets your energy going.
Hoult: For me? Hot and sour soup.
Nic Cage, I have framed poster of you in my room. Do you have one of me in yours? Thank you.
Cage: Uhhhh, who are you? I might.
If someone on set yelled “NICK!” which one of you would turn your head first?
Both did all the time – Cage & Hoult
Dracula has been played by so many people. Which on-screen Dracula performance is your least favorite?
Hoult: Oh i wouldn’t want to say a least favorite. I like them all.
Cage: Agreed, I wouldn’t want to denigrate anyone’s work.
I don’t have a question, I just wanna tell Nick Cage he is the man.
To quote a great actor, ‘”Thank you. You’re great too” — Cage’ – Hoult
Thanks for the questions! We gotta go see the children of the night about a bite to eat – but make sure to watch RENFIELD, only in theaters on April 14th.