Paul Bettany Talks "Age of Ultron," Working with James Spader & More
Wait, that sounded wrong.
The actor recently sat down in New York City to chat with journalists about the role, which was something of a dream come true for him. “I’d always wanted to play a knight,” Cage told Spinoff Online. “I had been doing it since I was very small, in my backyard, and it took this long to put it on celluloid, but it was my dream.”
It was more than that though. Cage also looked forward to the change in scenery following his 2010 releases. “I really wanted to be in the forest,” he explained. “I was making Bad Lieutenant in New Orleans and it was very hot and I was in this tiny, very humid little office and I was dreaming about making a movie in the forest. And then this script came along and there it was, and I said, ‘I’m going.'”
Cage, who is no stranger to taking on action roles, also relished the opportunity to swing a heavy sword around. “That was very exciting. I really did enjoy that. I felt that one of the two ways into being a viable knight would have to be the sword and the horse, and if I could get those two down fairly well in training then maybe you would go along with me for the ride,” he explained. “It’s also one of the reasons I became a film actor; I couldn’t really figure out what I wanted to be and I thought if I could make movies I could start learning all of these different skills.”
Of course, even the most seasoned action hero-types end up dealing with scary moments during shooting. For Cage in Season of the Witch, it happened when he was dealing with live wolves during one of the films trickier action sequences. “That was a scary day,” he said. “I had a wolf that was snarling, a real wolf, and there was nobody holding onto him, and I was only a foot away. A few things did flash in my mind, that I was going to lose my face” — Face/Off reference! — “and I was going to get bit.”
This is a guy who has been in the business of making movies for decades. Cage acknowledged his need to keep things fresh whenever possible, try new things so as not to fall into the same patterns. “I subscribe to the Lon Chaney school of acting, senior, not junior,” he said. “And historically, film actors and stage actors have always experimented with new looks. And because I do make quite a few movies, I like to keep changing it up and transforming myself. That’s part of the fun of it.”
Also fun for Cage was having the opportunity to work with Christopher Lee, who has a small role in the film. “He was hilarious. He said some very cool things,” the actor revealed. “One of the best stories he shared with me was: he was with some friends in Hollywood back in the ’70s… and it was the Thrilla in Manila — it might have been another fight, but I’m paraphrasing — and Muhammad Ali said right after the fight, ‘I just want to thank my friend Christopher Lee.’ And [Lee] told me everyone at the party said, “Well how did you get Muhammad Ali to do that?” And he looked and them and said, ‘Magic. …Black magic.’ I love that about him.”