Last week I was treated to two fantastic events. First I got to see an advance screening of the upcoming Dreamworks animated film, The Croods, opening March 22nd, and what a treat that was. The next day I was part of a group of ten bloggers that got to interview the stars, Nicholas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds and the creators of The Croods.
The Croods takes place in the time of the caveman, when change first begins to occur to their world. Nicholas Cage stars in The Croods as Grug, a very protective father and extremely scared of change. Cage is also a father, and we did discuss some issues related to real life parenting. One thing that stood out for me, because it so relates to this blog, is when he was asked about his favorite apps. This is what he said:
"iTunes or Play Store. I like music. And I like movies, obviously. I need to keep current with what's happening now with film and also with music. I love classical music and also want to hear what's happening with the new rock music because my oldest son is immersed in that. So, it's something I want to keep up to date on."
So now that it is clear that Nicholas Cage practices the philosophy of Connect with your Teens though Pop Culture and Technology, we can get on with the rest of the interview.
When asked to compare himself to his character Grug, an overprotective father, Cage brought up a great metaphor he had heard about parents being bows and children being the arrows. Parents can direct them but ultimately we have to let go and let them find their own way. He also said that he thinks that the most important things you can give your child are love and a good education.
Cage told us that he was given license to improvise in The Croods and he loves to do that because he thinks it always adds a level of spontaneity to a performance. He mentioned that he did a lot of improvising on Leaving Las Vegas (his Oscar winning performance).
Cage was asked how playing an animated character compared with doing live action roles.
"I think that all acting on some level is imagination. And I've always said that voice is 50 percent of acting. So, the extra step with acting in an animated feature is you have to completely rely on your voice and your imagination to imagine the other characters are there or to imagine that these far-out animals are there. I would see it more as a great way to stay in shape as an actor. It's a great exercise."We learned that Cage had been in discussions for the part of Shrek but he didn't want to look like an Ogre. He laughed that on retrospect that might not have been his best decision. However, when the creators approached him for The Croods and showed him drawings of Grug, they all agreed that this was a good fit.
We all discussed how we loved that The Croods is a movie that makes you both laugh and cry. The scenes between Grug and his teenage daughter Eep (Emma Stone) were especially powerful.
At that point, Cage's sons had not yet seen the movie, although his wife had seen it and loved it. I told him that I had taken my 23 year old son with me to the screening and he loved it, so it definitely isn't just a movie for kids and parents. Teens and twentysomethings will love it also. Cage was happy to hear that and looking forward to his sons opinions.
Nicholas Cage was extremely nice, down to earth and very laid back during the interview. He couldn't have made us more comfortable.
Next week I will be following up on this post with articles on Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds and the creators of The Croods and will be including more about this fantastic movie. Mark your calendars for March 22, 2013. This is one of the best animated films I have ever seen.
For more information go to The Croods movie official website and check out this short video: