Nicolas Cage claims he has memories from being in utero.
Nicolas Cage is one of the most enigmatic actors to ever grace the screen. He recently appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to promote his latest vampire film, Universal’s Renfield. Colbert set out to illuminate the mystery of the real Nicolas Cage with a series of probing questions; when asked what his first memory was, Cage described a sense of awareness in utero.
Upon first hearing the question, Nicolas Cage had to take a moment to sift through his memory bank. After some reflection, he had this to say: “Listen, I know this sounds really far out, and I don’t know if it’s real or not, but sometimes I think I can go all the way back to in utero and feeling like I could see faces in the dark or something.”
“I know that sounds powerfully abstract,” Cage went on, “but that somehow seems like maybe it happened.” Colbert followed up by asking if the faces Nicolas Cage recalls were in there with him or if they were manifestations of his unborn mind.
“Now that I’m no longer in utero,” Cage elaborated, “I would have to imagine it was perhaps vocal vibrations resonating to me in that state. That’s going way back, so I don’t know. That comes to mind.”
Stephen Colbert went along without questioning the story. “You’re Nic Cage,” Colbert said. “Who am I to say you don’t remember being in utero?”
Nicolas Cage admitted that he isn’t even sure if he remembers his prenatal being, but those thoughts have come to his mind throughout his life. It is a peculiar answer but one in keeping with the life and work of the eclectic actor.
Colbert had a whole set of questions for Cage, which had apparently been generated by data engineers and an AI system, dubbed the Colbert Questionert.
Nicolas Cage was ready with answers to the questions, which ranged from the silly to the existential. The first artist Cage ever saw in concert was The Who in San Francisco. The animal he is most frightened of is the centipede. His favorite action movie is Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon.
Then Colbert had a big one. “What do you think happens when we die?” Colbert asked. “I’d like to think that whatever spark is animating our bodies, once the body passes on, that the spark continues to go,” Cage explained. “But whether or not that electricity has consciousness or not, I can’t really say.”
His profound response and classic Nicolas Cage delivery elicited hefty applause. The actor also confirmed that he prefers cats to dogs, oranges to apples, his favorite smell is night-blooming jasmine, and his least favorite smell is his wife’s Pomeranian’s excrement.
Nicolas Cage has had a long, storied career filled with blockbusters, indies, classics, and flops. His performances have been lauded and laughed at, but Cage keeps working despite the ups and downs of his professional and personal life. Including Renfield, Cage is on track to make four film appearances in 2023 alone.
In Renfield, Nicolas Cage takes on the iconic role of Count Dracula. In an interview with Looper, Cage said that, while the film pays homage to Bela Lugosi’s portrayal of the character, he favored Christopher Lee’s take from the 1950s. Though he had a lot of inspiration to draw from, Cage knew he had to make the part his own.
“I was trying to find other things to bring to the character,” Cage said, “because it’s been done a lot — it’s been done well and it’s been done not so well — and I had to figure out what I could contribute to the legacy of Dracula, especially [because] it’s a Universal film.”
Nicolas Cage contributes a Dracula that is both dapper and grotesque, refined and rabid. Starring Nicholas Hoult as Dracula’s assistant, Renfield, and Awkwafina as a New Orleans police officer caught between the mob and the recent arrival of vampires in her city, Renfield has raked in about $23 million against an estimated $65 million budget.
The film received mixed reviews, favored more by audiences than critics. In any case, the film is a fascinating extension of the legendary Universal monsters’ history, and playing Dracula is one memory Nicolas Cage will likely never forget.