National treasure, and star of "National Treasure," Nic Cage is finally opening up his book of secrets.
Cage's new movie, "Pay the Ghost," is now in theaters. He was drawn to the film, he told The Huffington Post, because it mixes real life and supernatural horror. That's pretty cool, but when we heard Cage was available for interviews on the film, we just had one question: Did he ever actually steal the Declaration of Independence?
OK, actually we had a lot of questions. Pages of questions. But with only 10 minutes for the call, we had to whittle them down to the essentials, and getting an answer about a potential heist of our country's most important document was No. 1.
It seems facetious. Of course, he didn't steal the Declaration of Independence, right? "National Treasure" was just a movie ... or was it?
There was that alleged photo of Cage from the 1800s that appeared to reveal he was a vampire. And he's played a character who thought he was a vampire before. Are Cage's movies actually a reflection of his real life? The world needs to know.
The interview started off smoothly. I said, "Hi, I'm Bill." Cage said, "Good to talk to you, Bill." (Wow! He knows my name!) Things were going great.
We talked about the film, which Cage called "very liberating" because it allowed him to play the character naturalistically, à la "Cinéma vérité."
"Sounds awesome," I said.
(Note to self: look up the definition of cinéma vérité.)
I asked, "If you have to pay a ghost, do they only accept children, or is there some sort of payment plan you can work out?"
Cage said, "In the movie, it's children."
(OK, good to know.)
Then things got a little awkward.
I said, "Since we're talking about the supernatural, did you know there's a whole online community who calls you their 'one true god.' What are your thoughts on that?"
(This was a mistake.)
Cage was awesome. He said, "I don’t know what to think about that. The Internet is its own sort of life force that has seemed to developed this fascination, whether it’s ironic or not, that I can’t really explain. So I sort of let people do what they want."
(Great answer! Then one of the publicists jumped in ...)
"STICK TO MORE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE FILM!" he said.
OK, maybe it wasn't that aggressive, and it was cool they set everything up, but the damage was done.
My heart fell faster than the stairs do in the first "National Treasure."
(You can't blame publicists. That's their job. But I literally have pages of questions to ask, including, "If you could take someone's face off for the day, who would it be?" "Is there anything worse than a face full of bees?" And, of course, "Did you steal the Declaration of Independence?")
"Sure, no problem," I said. "So ... are you like ... scared of ghosts?"
I'm not sure if that's exactly what came out of my mouth, but it wasn't much better.
Cage was gracious. He did apparently have normal fears like any other parent. "That's what I found compelling about 'Pay the Ghost.' I think every parent can relate to that fear of losing one's child in public whether it be an abduction or accident or something and then to have that escalate into a supernatural horror ... I thought that was pretty unusual and not like anything I’ve done before."
(Very cool. But the chance to ask the question I really wanted to know was winding down. Ah, what would Cage's "National Treasure" character do at a time like this?)
(Eh, that doesn't help.)
"Last question," said one of the publicists.
It was now or never. I had to go for it.
"Did you ever steal the Declaration of Independence? Or do you think you could if you had to?" I asked.
It is done.
Saying it was a relief, but every millisecond of silence had me more tense than when I waited to see if Cage and his friends would survive the end of "National Treasure: Book of Secrets."
Then ... he speaks. Oh, speak again, bright angel!
"No and No," said Cage.
Success! All the research and planning finally paid off. The question has been answered. "No," Nic Cage has not actually stolen the Declaration of Independence, and "no" he doesn't think he could. He didn't have to answer. He could've just declined.
But the one true god did answer, and it was good.
"Pay the Ghost" is now in theaters.
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