Nicolas Cage & his fifth wife Riko Shibata cover Flaunt in the desert

Alec and Hilaria Baldwin chat with owner Craig Susser as they leave Craig's restaurant in West Hollywood

Earlier this year, Nicolas Cage got married for the fifth time. He married Riko Shibata, a Japanese actress who is (probably) around 27 years old. Cage is 57 years old. They’ve been together for a few years and she lives with him out in his place in Las Vegas, which is also home to his menagerie of crows, cats, snakes, dinosaur bones. Riko was included on the cover of Flaunt, even though Cage is really just promoting his latest film, Pig. Critics love the film, and they’re calling it one of Cage’s best performances in a decade. He plays a truffle-hunter whose pig is stolen, basically. You can read the full (overwrought) Flaunt article here. Some highlights:

Living in a Nevada desert which is getting hotter: “Are we talking climate change? I feel terrible about it. You can’t help but think about the polar bear on the little block of ice. It’s an enormous worry. And it’s jumping in degrees every year it seems. It’s happening faster than people initially thought. It’s clear to me that science proves that this is going in the wrong direction.”

Las Vegas light: “The thing about Las Vegas is that it really gets you on light more than anywhere else in the world. Whether it’s the light of the sunlight… and also all the electricity. The Mojave Desert is officially now the hottest desert in the world. It used to be the Sahara desert five years ago. The recent temperatures have hit something like 133, which is insanity.”

On his wife Riko: I ask Cage how he met Kyoto-native Shibata. He shares it was through mutual friends in Japan in and around his filming of new Sion Sono high-octane freak-fest—Prisoners of the Ghostland. Sono has directed 50 plus films. The director’s “warped mind” is cited at the outset of the Ghostland trailer. In addition to Shibata, Sono shares a circle with a very hip and creative set in Tokyo, including Hirokazu Koreeda, whom Cage cites—director of Palme d’Or Winner, Shoplifters.

He doesn’t go in for stereotypes of Asian women as demure, submissive: “That’s not me and Riko,” Cage says resolutely, acknowledging the ubiquitous post-War bigotry in culture, “her getting me coffee, waiting on me, or some kind of servitude. And that’s not been my experience with other Asian women, abroad or here. And to think about Marlon Brando in that film [The Teahouse of the August Moon, (1956)] and his way of talking and…” Cage mimics a scene where Brando beckons for a back massage from a problematic “geisha” figure.

On service workers: “Those guys are heroes. My first gig was selling tickets and popcorn at a cinema called the Fairfax Movie Theater. That job required so much… being a waiter is a hard job, man. Like, ‘Sir, you have to put your cigarette out’, and he blows smoke in my face. But the beauty of that job was I got to see the big screen, I got to see all these fun movies and try to figure out how do I go from this guy to that guy, and I enjoyed that. I didn’t enjoy some of the interactions with the audience, which is why I think the service industry does require respect. It takes real patience to be in that line of work. You have to be a people person.”

On the culinary world: “The thing about the culinary world is they are brutal on each other. I read Marco Pierre White’s book, and he was reducing Gordon Ramsay to tears. And now Gordon is king of the world, Michelin star, four-time, three-time, success all around, but he certainly paid his dues to get there. It’s a culture that thrives on abuse. And then it keeps going: ‘Well, I was abused, so now you are going to be abused.’ It keeps going. ‘You’re either going to stand and endure it or you won’t. Let’s find out right now.’… I hope that can be dismantled. I think it would be much more interesting if we used positive reinforcements—‘That was excellent, let’s try and do that again.”

[From Flaunt]

The Flaunt piece is very long and it’s almost like you get a contact-high from delving into Cage’s odd world. It feels like the desert has made him a little bit crazy, and he was an offbeat guy to begin with. By the look and sound of it, his marriage to Riko is fine and she enjoys his life and traveling with him to film sets, although I wonder if he’ll do the same when she wants to work. Anyway… I hope they’re happy.

Cover & IG courtesy of Flaunt.

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12 Responses to “Nicolas Cage & his fifth wife Riko Shibata cover Flaunt in the desert”

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  1. Shabs says:

    I like everything he is saying here.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      @ Shabs, I do too which is extremely surprising for me as I am not a big fan of his. There are very few films of his that I watch, but Raising Arizona will always be a favorite of mine. But he’s right about the heat. And it is hard to sleep sometimes when you see the impact on a daily basis as it heats up every day. It’s not slowing down, it’s actually increasing at a rate that climatologist didn’t anticipate. The rate is faster so the need to act is much more critical. The countries that refuse to meet the climate pact should all suffer from world wide embargo’s, and that includes the US as well! We are one of the top 2 emitting countries and we have to do more now. There is NO more time.

  2. H says:

    I’ve loved him since Valley Girl, but the guy is so problematic. I still think his best work is Raising Arizona.

  3. tealily says:

    He’s had a lot of issues, but he actually sounds okay here. I hope he’s doing well.

    I just watched Willy’s Wonderland over the weekend and it was a lot of fun!

  4. BeanieBean says:

    Interesting, interesting fellow, for sure. I remember driving I-10 & I-8 east to Texas for work 15 or so years ago, and I was utterly fascinated seeing all those saguaro cactuses (yeah, I know, it’s cacti) on either side of the road. They’re just supercool.

  5. Mika says:

    As much as I want to Ughhh him for being married to a 27 year old-woman I… can’t really disagree with a lot of what he says?

  6. Mel says:

    Im just gonna say it, his obsession with young Asian women freak me out and not just him but every man out there who does this.

  7. Chaine says:

    Reading it he sounds ok but watching the video, wtf, he said all of that while purposefully talking into a fan to make his voice reverberate?! Plus, I know she is supposedly 27, which, yeah, I roll my eyes at that relationship but omg his wife looks about 14 years old in the video, makes him seem very very creepy.

    • Katherine says:

      Infantilizing Asian women who “look young” to Caucasians is creepy. Wear some fucking sunscreen.

  8. Paintergal says:

    Sorry. She looks like a hostage.

  9. NopeNope says:

    His new wife is three years younger than his oldest son?! That is disgusting …