Nicolas Cage’s best friend is a Maine Coon who sleeps with his arm around Cage

I went into this Nicolas Cage cover profile believing that it was going to be a slog of Nick Cage being bonkers, but I forgot that… actually, Nick Cage is a good interview. He manages to come across as a nice guy who works hard, but someone who is absolutely eccentric. He makes a lot of news in this piece too! Apparently, after twelve years of hard work and saying “yes” to ever script he was offered, he has finally climbed out of debt and near-bankruptcy. He’s now saying “yes” to scripts he wants to do… and probably some movies with nice paychecks, since he has to support a growing family and a full menagerie of cats, crows, fish, lizards and snakes. He’s currently promoting The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, where he stars as… Nick Cage. Some highlights from this GQ profile:

His best friend: He has the regal bearing of an emperor, with an elegant mane of gray hair and wise golden eyes and a luxurious tail and, okay, yes, he is a cat. A Maine coon named Merlin. “He’s so kind and so loving,” Cage tells me, more than once. “Sometimes he puts his arm around me when he’s sleeping, and I think it’s my wife, and I go, ‘Oh, Riko.’ And then it’s Merlin.”

Expecting a baby with his fifth wife Riko Shibata. They have the names picked out already: Akira Francesco for a boy and Lennon Augie for a girl. “Augie was my father’s nickname. And my uncle”—the director Francis Ford Coppola—“has decided to change his name to Francesco,” he says, excitedly showing me the two-month ultrasound on his phone. “I think it’s so sweet. It’s like a little edamame. A little bean.”

On all of the supercuts & memes of his hammy acting: “You can’t go against that which is… I still don’t really fully understand what the fascination is with my face or facial expressions that happen in these memes.”

He loves Moonstruck: He initially balked at doing Moonstruck because it seemed too safe of a romantic comedy. “Now looking at it, it’s definitely one of my favorite movies I made. Plus, I like the presentation of the Italian American as a loving family. Not just always the gangster.”

Why he had so much debt: It was mostly bad real-estate decisions. The grotesquely haunted LaLaurie mansion in New Orleans. The 16th-century Schloss Neidstein in Germany. The 18th-century Midford Castle in England. The Gray Craig estate in Rhode Island. Leaf Cay island in the Bahamas. More mortgages than he could keep up with and a bubble that burst on him, and everyone else, too. “I didn’t believe in stocks because I think they’re like gambling and they’re dangerous, but you can dump a stock,” he says, reflecting on the 2008 crash. “You can’t get out of real estate that quickly.”

How bad it got: “I’ve got all these creditors and the IRS and I’m spending $20,000 a month trying to keep my mother out of a mental institution, and I can’t. It was just all happening at once.”

He cared about all of the movies, even the bad ones: “When I was doing four movies a year, back to back to back, I still had to find something in them to be able to give it my all,. They didn’t work, all of them. Some of them were terrific, like Mandy, but some of them didn’t work. But I never phoned it in. So if there was a misconception, it was that. That I was just doing it and not caring. I was caring.”

Being married for a fifth time: “I am a romantic, and when I’m in love, I want to give that person everything I can. It’s my expression of saying, ‘I love you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you.’ And this is it for me.” He shakes his head and looks down at his plate, speaking to himself more than to me. “I mean, this is not happening again. This is it. This is it.”

He wants to keep making independent films now. “I enjoy making movies like Pig and Leaving Las Vegas more than I enjoy making movies like National Treasure,” he says. He waves away suggestions that National Treasure 3 is happening, after I mention that Jerry Bruckheimer told me they were developing something. “When I talk about fair-weather friends in Hollywood, I’m not talking about Jerry. I’m talking about Disney. They’re like an ocean liner. Once they go in a certain direction, you’ve got to get a million tugboats to try to swivel it back around.”

[From GQ]

Once you find yourself in Cage-World, you sort of get absorbed in it and you start to understand why he is the way he is and why he’s done the things he’s done. And to be clear, the GQ piece is littered with his former directors and producers all singing his praises for his talent and his work ethic. He likes working, he just wishes he had more of a choice with great scripts. You even understand his menagerie too – I mean, he loves animals and you can tell that he gets enjoyment from being around his birds, turtles, cats, snakes and all the rest of them. Anyway, maybe Nick Cage is deeply misunderstood.

Cover & IG courtesy of GQ.

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37 Responses to “Nicolas Cage’s best friend is a Maine Coon who sleeps with his arm around Cage”

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  1. K says:

    I have a Maine coon named Dash (because he is quite dashing) and they are an amazing breed. I am looking forward to The Unbearable MT movie.

    • Feeshalori says:

      I agree that MCs are amazing, l have an ex-breeder who has wrapped me around her fluffy paw. Any guy who has a cat is a plus in my book, even Nicholas Cage lol.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        I adopted a full grown MC from our local sherlter. I have always had cats, but I must admit that a MAINE coon is the most wonderful breed to have. He was spoiled rotten too!! My husband at first would try to refuse to give into his demands, if his food book wasn’t filled to the top he refused to eat, but he would fill it after a 30 minute rant as to how spoiled he was. They are extremely attentive, affectionate as well as wanting to be with when they want to. They have dog traits in that they will wrap themselves into your nooks to sleep all night! In fact my son was so attached to him, they named their son after him, Spencer. I named him after Spencer Tracy as he was certainly a man about men and was unapologetic about himself.

    • Liz Version 700 says:

      I have my second Maine Coon and while I adore all of my cats this breed is just so funny! They are very affectionate and almost dog-like with their love of playing. Totally get the love and he for sure seems like a cat person hahahah said as a cat obsessed person

      • AlpineWitch says:

        I’ve 3 of them and wouldn’t choose another breed now, they’re like doggies 😻😻😻

        I didn’t think I had something in common with Nick Cage, my Maine Coon boy also sleeps with his paw around my neck!!

      • BothSidesNow says:

        I please forgive my rudeness for having written my response before reading what you both shared!!

        I will also share that at 32lbs, he had no issue with sleeping on top of my chest all night, or sleeping in my bent leg nook. I woke up several times to catch him staring at me while I slept too!

        Hands down the best breed of cat!!

  2. JFerber says:

    Gotta love a man who loves a cat. I still think he’s weird as hell and probably has a lot of skeletons in his closet (I don’t know precisely what, but there’s always been bad buzz around him).

  3. smcollins says:

    Moonstruck is one of my favorite Nic Cage movies, love it! Raising Arizona & Peggy Sue Got Married are others. His earlier work is fantastic, and despite all the crap he’s done to deal with his finances he’s so much fun to watch no matter how bad the film (and they haven’t all been bad, really, just judged harshly in some cases I think). He’s definitely one-of-a-kind and just is who he is without apology and that’s so refreshing, especially when so many of the more public celebrities have such a carefully curated image and “brand”.

    • Green Desert says:

      Oh man, Raising Arizona…introduced me to both the Coen Brothers and Cage. He’s a one of a kind talent.

    • Christine says:

      Peggy Sue Got Married is my all-time “if I see it’s on, I have to watch it” movie. I freaking love that movie, and somehow never get tired of it.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      Moonstruck was an entire delight from start to finish. Also, Cage didn’t utilize her families connection’s. Cage wanted his talent to speak for itself. We could never complain that he choice the route of making a name foe himsel.

  4. LightPurple says:


  5. Margaret says:

    I love Nic Cage! He’s weird, but he’s nice!weird. 😀 I adored him in Moonstruck, and I like his eccentricity and his love of cats and other animals, and I love that he has human frailties and makes bad investment decisions and admits it. I will always watch a movie with him in it because I know he’ll be worth watching even if the movie is otherwise crap.

    • Catlady says:

      There is investing in real estate and then there is buying some of the most well known properties in the US and Europe. I think a desire for status drove some of those decisions.

      That said, I think Nic has been tragically underpaid compared to other actors of his talent and generation.

    • Christine says:

      Agreed, Margaret. Nic Cage is delightfully eccentric, in a Liza Minnelli kind of a way.

    • Champ says:

      I love him as an interview subject and actor too. Very open and sweet in this interview. Ethan Hawke said it all about his acting. Great actor. LOVED Moonstruck too but probably wouldn’t watch it again (seen it maybe three times). It shows its age but the scenes with NC and Cher were awesome and passionate.

  6. ooshpick says:

    Now this is what I call an actor and a star! Bring it Nick, in all your weird glory.

  7. Maria from Tercer mundo says:

    Where is the cat. I clicked for the cat. I need the ph of the cat.

  8. Stef says:

    Nick Cage will always have a weird and wonderful place in my mind, cemented from watching City of Angels as a teen.

    Gotta love a man who loves animals and snuggles with cats! We need pics of Merlin, please. I love Main Coones (my fav is Nacho Flay) and hope to have one someday.

  9. sherry says:

    But, cats don’t have arms 🙂

  10. Margot says:

    Merlin is a great name!

  11. Kitten says:

    Oh man please don’t make me like this guy. What a cute story tho!

  12. Rocky says:

    Im so glad he is finally getting the praise he deserves. The national treasure is Nick Cage

  13. LarkspurLM says:

    He will always be Randy to me…(Valley Girl 1983)…xo Great movie, it debuted on my 15th bday…such a GREAT soundtrack too…

    Must see Merlin!

    • Susan says:

      Valley Girl is so underrated….it is (IMO)the OG Teen Movie of the 1980s, John Hughes was a follower. Sorry not sorry.

  14. Twin Falls says:

    Nic Cage is a great actor, a likable guy and a mess of a human. People don’t end up in 5th marriages for reasons unrelated to their own behaviors.

  15. Lizzie Bathory says:

    Moonstruck is such a terrific film. And I really loved Nic Cage in Pig–it’s worth seeking out. Also, cats make great best friends!

  16. Meg says:

    Saw the movie last night it lives up to the trailer, so fun

  17. Melissa says:

    He is really and truly my favorite actor. Love him!

  18. MsGnomer says:

    Nick is someone who I believe works to honor the integrity of his art. His father was a comparative literature prof and his mother a dancer. He chose his new last name after a composer and a character of a superhero comic. When you have art as your raison d’etre, you are going to have a life not many others will understand. At the time of Cage’s immense success and oscars and all that, I thought he deliberately threw it away because this was clouding his vision. I may be totally wrong, but that’s always been my deeply held intuition about my favorite actor. (As an aside, if you are someone who is using marriage as a measure of a human’s success, you miss the possibility of seeing other aspects.)

    Anyway, this post is me being a Stan for Nick. Love him.