Earlier today, Collider got an exclusive interview with Academy Award winner Nicolas Cage, who’s promoting his upcoming supernatural drama Season of the Witch, opening on January 7, 2011. The film is about a 14th century Crusader, named Behman (Cage), and his closest friend, Felson (Ron Perlman), who return home after decades of fierce fighting, only to find their world destroyed by the Black Plague. Soon after their unexpected return, the local Cardinal (Christopher Lee) sends the men on a dangerous mission to accompany a young woman (Claire Foy) accused of being a witch to where she will stand trial, and Behman becomes convinced that she is merely a convenient scapegoat, destined to be condemned.
While we will be posting the portion of the interview where he talks about what it was like to live out his childhood fantasy of being a knight and working with the iconic Christopher Lee closer to the film’s release, we did want to post what he had to say about how the filming of Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is going, how much it means to him to reprise the role of Johnny Blaze and what it’s been like to work with directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor on the project. He also talked about Kick-Ass. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
NICOLAS CAGE: It’s been a lot of fun. I’m really enjoying my experience with Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor. They’re not like anybody I’ve worked with before. They’re total originals. Mark Neveldine is doing things with the camera that are just brand new. He’s on rollerblades. He’s hanging off of wires at 300 feet. He’s just doing things that are combination stuntman and camera operator/director that are quite shocking and quite risky. And Brian Taylor is just a philosopher when it comes to movies. You can talk to him about Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom, and you can go into Ishiro Honda’s The War of the Gargantuas, in the same sentence. He’s definitely giving me a chance to bring a lot to the character. His idea to have me play Ghost Rider as well was inspired. We’ve been coming up with a lot of interesting things to do in the abstract, to help support the supernatural aspect of the character. He is the most supernatural superhero of all, after all.
Knowing how much you love the character, did you ever think you might not be able to make a sequel? What does it mean to actually be filming it right now?
CAGE: It means a lot to me. I have high hopes for it. I’m very confident that something special is going to come out of this experience. You can just feel it on the set.
What should fans be excited about seeing with the sequel?
CAGE: I don’t want to give anything away, but I know that the Ghost Rider character will definitely mess with their minds.
There are a lot of people taking photos of the set, with the paparazzi constantly being around. Do you pay attention to what people post online, or are you just focused on the movie and your work?
Everyone loved Kick-Ass, especially your work as Big Daddy. Looking back on that, are you surprised with the response, or did you always know you were making an awesome movie?
CAGE: It was a complete alignment of the stars that worked out for me, in that way. I knew Matthew Vaughn’s work and I was a fan of his talent, but I wasn’t that familiar with the comic book. I really just gave myself over to the experience in London, and I felt very fortunate with the results. I had a great cast to work with. Chloe [Moretz] was wonderful. So, it was one of those things that just happened, almost by accident.
At this stage of your career, what do you look for in projects and characters?
CAGE: I have to be challenged by it. I have to feel like I’m going to learn something, in some way, or I have to feel that I can commit to the character, like Behman in Season of the Witch, and really believe in that person and believe in myself, in that role.
With as long a career as you’ve had in this business, do you still have the same passion and love for the craft that you did when you started, or do you have times where you have to take a step back and recharge, in order to be creative, as an artist?
CAGE: I do have times where I need to recharge, but I can’t afford those times right now, so I don’t take them. But, I am just as passionate as I always was because I’m eclectic and I like to keep interested, and the way to keep interested is to do new things. That’s why you’re seeing me make so many movies right now that are in the fantastical and supernatural realms because I haven’t really done it before.