It’s almost as if Nicolas Cage agreed to do this interview with the New York Times for the sole purpose of explaining the full story behind his outrageous karaoke video that made the rounds last year.
If you have not seen it, the 49-second fan footage features the actor angry-singing “Purple Rain.” Like the pro that he is, Nic turned the very first question he was asked into a platform to chastise fans for taking advantage of him:
With any movie star, there’s the actor, and then there’s the persona. Earlier in your career, you had an obvious interest in cultivating the latter. Do you still? I once had brunch with Warren Beatty, and I said, “Do you have any idea how lucky you are that you were Warren Beatty in the ’70s, before everyone had a cellphone with a video camera?” He just smiled. It’s so true. You go to a karaoke bar with a male friend in the neighborhood, the bar says “no videotaping” and suddenly, there’s two different videos of you doing karaoke. Who did that? Who exposed the videotape? Who sold it?
You’re talking about the clips that went around of you singing “Purple Rain.” Yeah. It was around the anniversary of Prince’s passing. Everyone knows how much I admire him as an artist. But honestly, I wasn’t even doing that to sing. It was more like primal-scream therapy. It was a holiday weekend, and I didn’t want to go anywhere, but my friend who was with me said: “You can’t sit here in your apartment. You’ve got to go out.” So I went to the one place in my neighborhood that I knew had no video recording, just to have some fun, and that became everybody’s business.
Okay, if the bartender made an announcement asking people not to take film, then we can understand his frustration about being exploited during a sensitive moment. But the world is better place with this video in it.
-Article by WMMR’s Marisa Magnatta