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Nic Cage And Lily Sheen Share A Common Interest That Helped Their Preparation For The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent

There has been a lot of chatter, and rightfully so, about Nicolas Cage going fairly Method for his latest movie The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent… a comedy that requires the Oscar winner to play Nic Cage. Well, an exaggerated version of Nic Cage, made up of the cliches pop culture has attached to the colorful character actor. But Cage also fought to bring personal elements from his actual life to the collaboration, and it’s in there that we find a very sweet plotline involving the on-screen Nic Cage and his fictional daughter, played by newcomer Lily Sheen.

In the Hollywood satire, Nicolas Cage (Cage) agrees to attend the birthday party of a wealthy fan (played by The Mandalorian standout Pedro Pascal) for the paycheck of $1 million. Cage would prefer to stay in Los Angeles and repair the tumultuous relationship he shares with his daughter. As it turns out, she hates old movies her eccentric father tries to “educate” her on… something that Lily Sheen in real life says that she adores. When talking to CinemaBlend about her time on set with Cage, the young actress explained:

What’s so funny to me is that the relationship between me and Nic is kind of built upon me not enjoying his taste in movies. And in real life, I really like those movies. So, we’d be off screen talking about those exact movies, and then I’d be on screen going, ‘I hate ‘em!’ But my dad actually, my real life dad, was fantastic with me growing up. He has an amazing taste in movies, and he really taught me to respect, especially, independent films and international movies. Things like that which you wouldn’t typically see when you are eight.

Yet another example of life imitating art in the case of The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. Because similar to the way that Lily Sheen’s on-screen father is played by a Hollywood celebrity, her off-screen father (and the one turning her on to the best that cinema has to offer) is The Queen and Frost/Nixon star Michael Sheen. Lily says that she has her dad to thank for igniting her passion for classic cinema, which allowed her to engage on a deeper level with her co-star, Nicolas Cage. This also speaks to part of the reason why Nic Cage thinks “film enthusiasts” invest in his career path. They can feel that love of cinema in the choices that he makes. 

The run up to the release of Massive Talent has been unusual. The movie had its official release at the SXSW film festival, where a super fan hung posters around the city asking Nicolas Cage to call him. After a few days, Cage actually did. Then Cage spent the rest of the press tour diving into his career, telling media the 8 Nic Cage movies he actually loves – no surprise, they are recent films he feels went underappreciated. And we went so far as to pick three Cage films you need to watch before grabbing a ticket to The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. Cage may not go see this movie, but you are able to starting Friday, April 22.

Sean O'Connell
Sean O'Connell

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.