Nicolas Cage Interview – BANGKOK DANGEROUS

     September 3, 2008

Written by Charlie Mihelich

Well aren’t I just growing up so fast? In the last month, I’ve learned the ropes of the TV interview, the roundtable interview, the 1 on 1 interview, the press conference interview, and now the conference call interview. This morning, myself and 20 other journalists crowded onto a party line to discuss “Bangkok Dangerous” with none other than the film’s star, Nicolas Cage. He talked about the role, working with the Pang Brothers, and talked a little about “Ghost Rider 2”, “Bad Lieutenant”, and “Kick Ass”.

Q: As a producer of this film, you obviously are aware of some of the challenges translating an Asian film to a foreign market. Were you disappointed that they decided not to have the title character be deaf and mute (as in the original)? More specifically, did you want to have that challenge, playing a deaf and mute character?

NC: No, I wasn’t disappointed at all. I felt it was more important that the leading lady be deaf and mute, which gives it more of an emotional quality.

Q: I understand the filming of the movie was interrupted by a military coup. What was that like and did you ever feel for your safety?

NC: We were shooting an action sequence when about a block away the coup started. We were told that if we fired our guns, they might shoot back, and it was the first time I realized we could be in real trouble. Danny Oxide said “Hey, it’s Bangkok Dangerous”. My wife and child were staying at the hotel, so I got them, got them on a plane, we flew to Korea, I made sure they were safe, and then I came back. By the time I got back they were putting flowers in the tanks, so we were fine.

Q: How did the idea for remaking this film come about? Were you approached by the Pang Brothers or did you approach them?

NC: They approached me with it. I have been wanting to get more international in my films, you know, filming in other countries, and I really liked the idea of this white guy trying to fit in to the Thai culture.

Q: Can you tell us anything about “Ghost Rider 2”?

NC: Yes, we’ve talked about it and had some meetings about a possible story. We’re thinking about having Ghost Rider go to Europe and be a part of the Priory of Sion. You know, kind of like the DaVinci Code.

Q: Working on this film, you had to immerse yourself in Thai culture. Was it a kind of culture shock?

NC: It reminded me of meeting my wife’s family. She’s Korean, and I didn’t know anything about that culture, so it took some getting used to, but I found that the Thai people are the most gracious and inviting people you’ll ever meet.

Q: You’ve worked with John Woo and the Pang brothers now. What would you say the biggest different between them is?

NC: I don’t really like to make comparisons, but I’d say that John Woo is like a jazz musician, and the Pang brothers are like iconic illustrators. They create the painting in their head and remain faithful to it. They decide everything from the beginning, and they don’t deviate much, and you can’t really mess with it.

Q: This character is pretty ruthless. Was it important for you to maintain likeability to connect with the audience?

NC: I’m not really thinking about it. You just do what you have to do. He’s a hit man, but he’s got a couple soft spots.

Q: Your character has “four rules”. One of them is “don’t trust anyone”. Do you believe that?

NC: No I don’t. I believe in trust, because if you don’t, that’s pretty hopeless.

Q: You’ve got a lot of projects coming up, don’t you?

NC: Yes, I do. I just finished a movie with Alex Proyas called “Knowing”, I’ve got “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans” with Werner Herzog, and I signed on for a project with Matthew Vaughn called “Kick Ass”.

Q: What was it like working with Roman Polanski for “The Ghost”?

NC: I actually didn’t get to work with him because of a scheduling issue. I hope it’s still going to happen, because I’d love to work with him, but as of yet it hasn’t happened.

Q: Can you talk about your character in “Kick Ass”?

NC: I play a dad who trains his daughter to be a vigilante crime fighter. Her name is “Hitgirl”. So yeah, I play her father.

Q: Have you talked to Harvey Keitel at all about the “Bad Lieutenant” role?

NC: No I haven’t, and I’m not going to. I like Harvey, but he did his thing, and I’m going to do mine.

Q: Do you have any causes?

NC: Why would you ask me that?

Q: I mean, when Paul McCartney was on tour with Wings, people would always ask him about the Beatles, not about being a vegetarian or anything like that, so I just…

NC: Oh, causes! I thought you said pauses. Yes, I’m passionate about children and their safety, and marine life. And the environment.

“Bangkok Dangerous” will be released this Friday, September 5th in wide release.

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