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‘Longlegs’ Director Says Nicolas Cage Stayed “Very Focused” on Character Between Takes But Without “Any Sort of Method-Acting Bull****”

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Longlegs writer and director Osgood Perkins is opening up about working with Nicolas Cage on their new horror movie, in which the star plays a Satanic serial killer and undergoes a full physical transformation.

The look — which has been kept under wraps in all of the film’s trailers and marketing — is so terrifying that Neon released a video of co-star Maika Monroe acting opposite Cage in character for their first scene and tracked her heart rate as it skyrocketed. That experience was not unique, Perkins said at the movie’s Los Angeles premiere on Monday.

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“The first day that he came onto set, it was a relatively young crew in Vancouver who hadn’t seen really anything like that — I mean no one has really seen anything like what Nic is like in this movie,” Perkins told The Hollywood Reporter. “Certainly walking onto the set with him on the first day, I walked him onto set so I was able to watch everybody’s look, and it was really impressive. He’s an icon, he’s one of the great movie stars of all time, and then he’s this monster on top of it. It was a lot to handle.”

In between takes, Perkins said Cage stayed in the character’s mindset but didn’t go full method, noting, “For the first couple of days he was pretty much in his own self, keeping to himself, he didn’t want to hang out or have lunch. He spoke to me — and in between takes he spoke to me as Nicolas Cage, I didn’t have to deal with any sort of method-acting bullshit where you can’t reach the actor… it wasn’t like that, it was him, he’s just very focused and he means what he does.”

Monroe — who stars as a new FBI agent assigned to the unsolved serial killer case, discovering a personal connection to the murderer along the way — said the premiere felt like the first time she actually met the real Cage, as “it’s always been full prosthetic and wardrobe and things. Oz wanted to keep us completely separate, I didn’t see any of it.”

Monroe also weighed in on the decision to keep Cage’s appearance so secretive, saying, “I feel like nowadays so much is in your face and you watch a trailer and I’m like, ‘I know the whole plot to this,’ so I think it’s so cool and it’s so nice to have a genuine surprise, and for audience members to have no idea what he looks like and go to the theaters and see it.”

Perkins echoed, “It’s fun to hide your magic. If you’ve got something really good, you don’t waste it, you don’t blow it. You hold it close to the vest and play it like a carnival show. It’s like the Elephant Man — take the curtain off when you’re ready.”

Longlegs, which also stars Blair Underwood and Alicia Witt, premieres on Friday.

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Hollywood Reporter Original Article

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