Actor Nicolas Cage sat down for an interview with The New York Times Magazine on Wednesday that was about as bonkers as one could hope for, with a conversation about that time he accidentally purchased a stolen dinosaur skull leading into his description of what he describes as his “grail quest.”
“I started following mythology, and I was finding properties that aligned with that,” Cage said. “It was almost like National Treasure. … For me it was all about where was the grail? Was it here? Was it there? Is it at Glastonbury?”
The actor hadn’t realized he was setting out on such a mission, but various clues and details he uncovered inspired him to continue those threads in hopes of discovery.
“One thing would lead to another,” Cage continued. “It’s like when you build a library. You read a book, and in it there’s a reference to another book, and then you buy that book, and then you attach the references. For me it was all about where was the grail? Was it here? Was it there? Is it at Glastonbury? Does it exist?”
He added, “If you go to Glastonbury and go to the Chalice Well, there’s a spring that does taste like blood. I guess it’s really because there’s a lot of iron in the water. But legend had it that in that place was a grail chalice, or two cruets rather, one of blood and one of sweat. But that led to there being talk that people had come to Rhode Island, and they were looking for something as well.”
“But yes, this had put me on a search around different areas, mostly in England, but also some places in the States,” Cage said. “What I ultimately found is: What is the Grail but Earth itself?”
Other than searching for the Holy Grail, what does Nicolas Cage do in his spare time? Well, after a video of the National Treasure star screeching Prince’s “Purple Rain” into the mic at a karaoke bar hit the tabloids earlier this year, he will not be hitting the town anymore.
“You go to a karaoke bar with a male friend in the neighborhood, the bar says ‘no videotaping’ and suddenly, there’s two different videos of you doing karaoke,” he said “Who did that? Who exposed the videotape? Who sold it?”
The 55-year-old star explained that his viral performance was “more like a primal-scream therapy” session that he didn’t want to become a viral moment, since it was right around the anniversary of Prince’s death.
“It was a holiday weekend, and I didn’t want to go anywhere, but my friend who was with me said, ‘You can’t sit here in your apartment. You’ve got to go out.’ So I went to the one place in my neighborhood that I knew had no video recording, just to have some fun, and that became everybody’s business.”
Cage said that nowadays he preferred to stay out of the spotlight and focus on his acting career.
“At this point in my life … I heavily prefer to not go out. I’d rather just stay at home,” he said. “I don’t think I can decompress ever again, even at a karaoke bar. It’s too vulnerable. I’m not trying to complain. It’s a fact of life that I have to accept. I’d much rather let my work and not my personal life speak for me.”
Check out the amazing full interview at The New York Times Magazine.