By now, most of us have had a few days to digest what is possibly the greatest photograph ever taken. Obviously, I am referring to the photograph that was posted to the Guns N’ Roses Instagram account on Sunday featuring Nicolas Cage.
The majesty of an Academy Award winner (Leaving Las Vegas) standing with the aid of a cane next to a stand-up comedian while holding a very large glass of wine is not easily forgotten. For those who haven’t seen the photo yet here it is:
There is a lot going on in this photo, so I thought I could help out some of you by breaking it down, and answering the questions I am sure you’ve all been asking:
Who is standing next to Cage?
That is comedian Andrew “Dice” Clay. When I first saw this photo I recognized Clay first, and thought Cage was some aging British rocker, possibly The Clash’s Paul Simonon. Clay is currently the voice of the hamster dad in the “Framily” commercials for Sprint, but enjoyed a moment in the spotlight during the late 1980s as a dirty comedian.
Is Cage wearing chaps?
It does appear that Cage is wearing chaps with fringes. He is also wearing a cowboy hat, so he must be going for some sort of rodeo ensemble. This may or may not explain the blue sports coat/ Only Cage knows for sure. I do not believe that one of the movies Cage is currently filming involves rodeos, but I’m guessing he would really want it to.
How big is that glass of wine?
I really want to see the rider for this Guns N’ Roses show. I would not be surprised if W. Axl Rose requires venues to provide a certain sized glass for his wine. The Smoking Gun has an undated rider for the band posted on its site. It includes a bottle of Dom Perignon for Rose, and stacks of adult magazines for the band.
Cage could have also arrived at the venue with the glass already in his multi-ringed hand. Either way it appears that Cage selected the correct wine glass for red wine, even if it is slightly larger than normal.
What is on Cage’s shirt?
That is his face. More specifically, it is his face from a scene in the 1989 black comedy Vampire’s Kiss. The movie was a huge flop, making just over $700,000, but has since become a cult classic largely due to the acting of Cage.
The “You Don’t Say” scene has become the internet comment section equivalent to calling someone Captain Obvious. This means that Cage is aware of at least one internet meme based on him, and hopefully will lead to him discovering some of the other ones. My favorite is “Your Argument is Invalid,” which depicts Cage with a bird for hair.
Why the cane?
I tried to find an article that explained the cane, but came up empty. I did, however, find an article on the website True Metalhead with photos of Rose walking around Los Angeles with a cane. Maybe Cage was Rose’s designated cane holder for the night, or maybe they have collectively decided to try and make canes popular. My other thought is that Cage came straight from the set of a movie where he portrays a rodeo pimp who discovers a map to a lost civilization while looking at the back of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Guns N’ Roses and Nicolas Cage?
Actually Cage has a long history with hard rock or heavy metal music. His son, Weston, was the lead singer of the defunct black metal band Eyes of Noctum. He has also been spotted at metal shows for years in Los Angeles, and recently presented Rose with the Ronnie James Dio Lifetime Achievement Award.
According to his introduction, Cage was at the first live performance of “Welcome to the Jungle,” and used Rose as a model for his performance in Ghost Rider. Cage also introduced Guns N’ Roses on Sunday night in Las Vegas, and took a bow with the band onstage after the show.
The public has been kind of rough on Cage over the past decade, and who can really blame them? He will seemingly take any role offered to him, appearing in 20 movies since the start of 2007, and of those 20, only a handful could be considered quality filmmaking. The remainder add to the persona that has become the modern Nicolas Cage, a weird actor with an equally weirder acting style he refers to as “Nouveau Shamanic.”
This year appears to continue Cage’s trend of questionable acting choices. Rage will be in limited release starting this week, and looks like it could be another classic Cage movie. It also looks a bit like Taken. He will appear in two other movies this year, Outcast, co-starring with Hayden Christensen, and an adaptation of Tim Lahaye and Jerry B. Jenkins’ Left Behind.
In a review of Matchstick Men from 2003, critic Roger Ebert wrote, “Cage is accused of showboating, but I prefer to think he swings for the fences. Sometimes he strikes out, but more often he connects. He has a kind of raging zeal that possesses his characters; what in another actor would be overacting is, with Cage, a kind of fearsome intensity.”
On Sunday night the “fearsome intensity” of Cage decided to wear a blue sportscoat, multiple rings and necklaces, a cowboy hat, chaps, sunglasses indoors, and a shirt with his own face on it.
Thank you, Nicolas Cage, for being yourself. The world is a better place for it.