Nicolas Cage Regrets Eating A Disgusting Animal For A Vampire Movie

Nicolas Cage ate a cockroach while filming Vampire's Kiss.

By Phillip Moyer | Published

nicolas cage vampire's kiss

Nicolas Cage’s role as Dracula the Lord of Darkness in Renfield isn’t the first time he’s played a vampire in a comedy horror film — or, at the very least, someone who thinks he’s a vampire. In the 1988 black comedy Vampire’s Kiss, Cage plays a delusional literary agent who believes he’s been transformed into a vampire — and acts accordingly. This behavior includes eating a live cockroach, an action that Cage told Yahoo Entertainment that he wishes he never did.

The scene in question originally called for Nicolas Cage to eat a raw egg — something that audiences had seen 12 years prior in the Sylvester Stallone film Rocky. Rather than repeating an already-iconic stunt, Cage decided he wanted to shock the audience and changed the scene to show him eating a live cockroach. In the film’s DVD commentary track, Cage said that he knew the scene would shock audiences just as much as blowing up a bus in Speed, but without the added expense of having to blow up a bus.

“I saw it as a business decision because when people see the cockroach go in my mouth it’s like the bus blowing up in Speed, people really react,” Nicolas Cage revealed in the commentary. “It’s like worth $2 million in special effects and all I do is eat a bug. So it’s good business.”

Nicolas Cage was on something of a comedy streak when he appeared in Vampire’s Kiss. His past three films were the fantasy comedy Peggy Sue Got Married, the crime comedy Raising Arizona, and the romantic comedy Moonstruck. Vampire’s Kiss, which was a fantasy-crime-romantic comedy, did manage to shock audiences with Cage’s antics, though it didn’t shock a very large audience since it only made $725,000 off a $2 million budget.

Not just a meme, it’s Nicolas Cage in Vampire’s Kiss

But, as is probably obvious to anyone who spends even a moment thinking about it, eating a cockroach is not a pleasant experience. So, even though Nicolas Cage provided Yahoo Entertainment with a handful of benefits for eating bugs (high protein, no fat, great nutrients, etc.), he absolutely refuses to ever repeat the stunt.

Nicolas Cage points out that his co-star Nicholas Hoult performed a similar stunt in Renfield, eating a potato bug as his character attempted to boost his vampire powers without having to feast on the blood of the innocent. It was apparently a dried-out potato bug, though Hoult stated it wasn’t particularly well-dried-out, forcing him to taste “every bit of bug.”

The potato bug scene isn’t the only time that Hoult eats a bug on camera in Renfield, though Hoult claims the other bugs he ate weren’t nearly as disgusting. He said that the crickets he ate were barbecue flavored and salt and vinegar flavored, and the cockroaches he ate were actually caramel — something Nicolas Cage no doubt wishes his own cockroach was back in 1988.

Unfortunately for Nicolas Cage and Nicholas Hoult, Renfield does not appear to be doing that well in theaters, only grossing $3.1 million on its opening day. While that’s about $2 million more than the entire box office gross of Vampire’s Kiss — it’s still a very disappointing first-night showing for a movie that cost $65 million to make. The movie is only expected to make $7.5 million on its opening weekend (even lower than its original $10 million projection), meaning it has a long way to go before it can hope to be considered a success.