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Nicolas Kim Coppola (born January 7, 1964) is an American actor and filmmaker who is the recipient of various accolades, including an Academy Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a Golden Globe Award.
- I’m not career-minded. My mantra has always been “work.” I never had a “career.” I only had “work.” That was a way of going through different movies. I find something in a movie that I think works. It’s like a rock album. Maybe not all of it works in the script, but there’s one or two songs, one or two scenes that work.
- The media sometimes talks about the Video-on-Demand work. The first thing I want to say about that is that, in my opinion, anyone that says “straight to video” in this age is a dinosaur. It’s past tense. Everything is streaming now. It’s one of the best ways to get your movie out there now and have it re-played. It’s been terrific for me.
- My interest has always been cinema or films, because that’s what I was most compelled by. I was most inspired by the movie actors that I grew up with. I only hesitate to say I would because my process now is that I need about two months for the libretto of the screenplay to sink into my instruments so that I can not have to think about dialogue. That’s the first thing that’s going cave an actor in, having anxiety about not knowing their lines. I don’t want that.
- I developed this mantra, which is: “I never had a career, I only have work.” And when I say that, I am saying that I’m a better man when I’m working because I don’t want to be that guy that’s sitting by a pool getting bombed on mai tais and Dom Perignon.
- There’s a difference between remorse and regret. I don’t have any regret. And when I say that, what I’m trying to say is that I’m applying my mistakes to my present so that I learned to improve on myself and be a better man. And I do think every movie I’ve made that hasn’t worked has all led me to this place where I’m at now, where I can do a movie like The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent and I can tell the story with some integrity and authenticity to it. Everything happened for a reason. I have to look at it like that because that’s the healthiest and most positive way of looking at it.
- But let me say one thing: I am completely antidrug. I don’t do drugs. I don’t drink when I work. Sometimes in between movies I’ll have some drinks, but not always. I make so many characters, and I go so internal with them, that sometimes, when I’m not filming, wine or Champagne is like an eraser to a chalkboard. You can erase the character and make a clean slate so you can start making a new character. I hope that makes sense.
- As a film actor, my job is to facilitate the director’s vision. If there’s something I’m doing that they don’t agree with, I drop it.
- I can’t go into specifics or percentages or ratios, but yeah, money is a factor. I’m going to be completely direct about that. There’s no reason not to be. There are times when it’s more of a factor than not. I still have to feel that, whether or not the movie around me entirely works, I’ll be able to deliver something and be fun to watch. But yes, it’s no secret that mistakes have been made in my past that I’ve had to try to correct. Financial mistakes happened with the real estate implosion that occurred, in which the lion’s share of everything I had earned was pretty much eradicated. But one thing I wasn’t going to do was file for bankruptcy. I had this pride thing where I wanted to work my way through anything, which was both good and bad.
- I always say to myself, 'I never had a career, only work.' What I mean by that is sometimes — and I won't mention names — but when you get into this career-minded perception of one's self it can be a slippery slope, and it can lead to things where you start believing in your own mythos and you start taking yourself way too seriously. You become pretentious and then you fall into the realm of diva, and that's when mistakes happen in your personal life and on camera.
- Karaoke is kind of like a prayer. You’re not supposed to videotape that. I’m not a professional singer. I’m just enjoying my life and blowing off some steam with friends.
- I think this quarantine experience, and the fear of the pandemic itself, only augments the closeness we feel with our animal brothers and sisters. It’s interesting timing that this movie is coming out as we slowly begin to emerge from that experience. I was already close with my animals, but it only made us closer because I really needed their support during that time.
- I wanted to create a kind of wild and artistic and bizarre image. I have changed in terms of what I want to express, and what I want my perception to be. But I personally think I’m very boring. I find myself perfectly content staying at home and playing with my cats or spending time with my boys, who are now older and into their own interests.
- Well, all art is therapeutic and a positive place to transmute emotions from the negative into a positive.
- I think I’m going to continue, not so much to remind people or myself, but continue to play parts that allow me to express some meaning or some understanding of what it means to be a person.
- I do love romantic movies, but at my age it doesn’t happen very often. I’ve always admired love stories—the expression of love is like white light to me. Every color of the universe is in the love story.
- Which is a word I don’t like anymore, ‘acting’. I sound like a pretentious fart for saying ‘thespian’ but acting now has become like lying. It sounds like I’m lying. If you’re a great actor, you’re a great liar. ‘Thespian’ seems more like it’s about finding some truth within and then projecting it for others to get it. At least, it does to me. But I’m not always on the same wavelength as everyone else.
- I had gone on a bit of a tear for a while, exploring what I thought I could do with the boundaries or the limitations of film performance, and I had this philosophy, if you will, that what you could do in one art form, you might be able to do in another, and why not try it? Why not try something surrealistic or operatic or abstract or impressionistic in film performance? It was more experimental. A lot of it was very satisfying and very rewarding for me and my personal dreams about what I wanted to examine with film performance, but I had done that, and I felt that I had developed enough life experience, memories, dreams, where I could return to a more naturalistic, quiet style.
- Well, see, I’ve always viewed myself as a student. I would never say, “Oh, I’m a master.” I am a student. In that, I mean the idea is to keep learning and to keep looking and discovering. One of the things that really excites me, if you have that mindset, is working with younger actors.
- If I have my breakfast, then I can think, and that includes spiritual things, or whatever it is I want to do, meditate or read a book or watch a movie, and so I respect the food because that comes first for me. I think the movie shows the power of the experience that we all have with food.
- Nicolas Cage is a student who is on a path in cinema to try to keep learning and finding great characters with which to tell stories with.