Nicolas Cage explains why it took more than 100 movies to finally make a Western movie

Nicolas Cage in 'The Old Way' (Saban Films)

at Nicolas Cage Old Way. (Photo: Saban Films)

Nicolas Cage has acted in 112 films since 1982, when he started his film career. Fast Times at Ridgemont High. But there is something immediately distinguishable in the latest version, Old Way.

This is his first Western.

“I always thought I could wear the boots and the hat,” Cage, 59, tells us in a new interview. “You know, I grew up in California. I know people laugh at this, but this is as western as you can get. I live in Nevada. It’s not like I’m playing Hamlet. I’m not in medieval England. So I thought it was a good match.

“And I’m scratching my head as to why he took it. [so long]. I mean, I’ve been doing this job since I was 15 years old. I’ve been doing this for almost 45 years. I’ve made more than a hundred films, and it’s the first time someone has invited me to actually do it. [a Western]. I thought, ‘I’d better do it now before it’s too late’.”

Cage plays Colton Briggs, a former cold-blooded sniper who settles in Quiet Life and manages a trade shop and lives at home with his wife (Kerry Knuppe) and daughter (Ryan Keira Armstrong). Briggs gets back on track when a group of criminals invade his farm and kill his wife, even bringing his child along for revenge.

The experience was everything Cage had hoped for, he says, noting the only classic performance that impressed him. Old Way.

“I loved it. I mean, I grew up watching it. [them]. My favorite Western performance is Charles Bronson [as Harmonica] inside Once Upon a Time in the West. This is one of my favorite movies ever made, in fact one of my favorite movies. And he could do so much with so little. There was only majesty in his silence and an eerieness in his silence. i wanted to try [pay] respect it or approach it as much as I can. I don’t know if I did or not. Because it was pretty remarkable. But his performance in that movie was always on my mind. It felt great. I mean, I even modeled the hat in that movie from his hat. It had to be perfectly balanced. I didn’t want [have] one of those stupid 10-gallon cowboy hats.”

Ryan Kiera Armstrong in 'The Old Way' (Saban Films)

Ryan Kiera Armstrong and Nicolas Cage Old Road. (Photo: Saban Films)

Even more than the time-honored kind, where Cage dipped his boots for the first time, veteran Leaving Las Vegas and Face/Off The actor was drawn to the father-daughter story at the center of the film directed by Brett Donowho, with a screenplay by Carl W. Lucas.

“What really pushed me to make the movie was the relationship of two social misfits, father and daughter,” he says. “Yes, they are a family, but they both have a situation that has never been mentioned or felt. They are also prone to violence. So in this tragedy and this journey, these two mismatched people, biological father and daughter, are somehow learning to love, and that’s what really brought me here.”

And yes, Cage admits he was reminded of the time he played Big Daddy, opposite Chloë Grace Moretz’s Hit-Girl, in her favorite comic of 2010, playing a violent, socially misfit daughter and a violent socially misfit father. Kick ass.

“IT [crossed my mind] A little bit after I made the movie,” he says. “As I said, the thing that pushed me to say yes in the script was the father-daughter relationship. But then I thought, ‘Oh my God, I’ve already done something like this with him. Kick ass with Chloë.’ And I thought, ‘It worked… Let’s try it [it again].’ And I am happy that I did it.”

Old Way video-on-demand is currently showing on Friday, January 13 in select cities and premieres.

Watch the trailer:

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