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Nicolas Cage Talks Magic

04 August 2010

We’ve seen him play a treasure-seeker (National Treasure and National Treasure: Book of Secrets), a deeply troubled man (Leaving Las Vegas) twin brothers (Adaptation), a comic book character (Ghost Rider) and now a sorcerer in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

Nicolas Cage plays Balthazar Blake, a master sorcerer who must defend the city from his arch-nemesis, Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina).  Balthazar cannot do this alone, so he recruits Dave Stutler (Jay Baruchel), a seemingly average student who demonstrates hidden potential, as his reluctant protégé. Together, they must stop the forces of evil. 

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice marks Nicolas Cage’s seventh collaboration with Jerry Bruckheimer, following The Rock, Con Air, Gone in 60 Seconds, National Treasure, National Treasure: Book of Secrets and G-Force.


Q: Can you talk about how you got involved in the film, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice?

I was making a movie called Next and working with Todd Garner, to whom I expressed my interest in playing a magician in a movie. Todd suggested The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, so then we developed it at Saturn Films (Cage’s production company).  Disney was automatically excited because of Fantasia and we started pitching ideas about how it could work as a feature film. I had the idea of bringing Jerry Bruckheimer in because we’ve worked really well together over the years, and he wanted to go in a direction that was more fantasy-based, so it was a good match.

The whole concept actually came from a Goethe poem (Der Zauberlehrling) about a magician trying to teach a young man, and from there we had to create everything else, and weave a two-hour adventure story around it.

Q: Can you tell us a little about your character, Balthazar Blake?

I play Balthazar Blake and he is around 1,500 years old. He was one of the three apprentices of Merlin. Because of the legend of Morgana, Merlin was murdered, and Blake must find the next apprentice who can help end the war. 

Merlinians are trying to keep mankind from being enslaved and are using magic to help others. Alfred Molina plays Maxim Horvath, who’s a Morganian. Morganians are on the opposite side and will do anything they can to get ahead and enslave mankind.

Q: Obviously as a producer of the film, you helped shape the look and feel of it. Were there any other films that influenced you when it came to this one?

Yes – The Wizard of Oz in regards to the wholesome acceptance of the fantasy and the imagination – not being afraid of it.

Q: Have you always been a fan of magic?

I’ve always had an interest in anything which involves the imagination, and I find that now I’m interested in making less violent films. That doesn’t mean I will stop making violent movies, but a movie has to have the right tone – it can’t be gratuitous. Fantasy movies give me the chance to use the metaphor instead, you don’t have to literally take a gun to someone’s head and shoot them. That is more interesting to me. Also, I feel the best way I can apply my abilities as an actor, is to make families happy. 



Q: Did you get your chance to fulfill some of your dreams by making this movie?

I said to Alfred Molina, “this is our chance to get as close to something like The Wizard of Oz as we will ever get.”  Not that we will achieve a masterpiece quite like that but we will at least try to adopt the spirit of it. The Wizard of Oz is one of my favorite movies.

Q: Did you get a say in the look of your character?

I always have a say in how I’m going to look.  Much has been written about how I like to reinvent my look, and that just makes me want to do it even more! One of my favorite actors is Lon Chaney. He was the king of silent film acting where they did their own hair and make-up. He could change the shape of his face and that helps with the performance.   

Q: What kind of physical training did you have to go through?

I had to learn how to sword fight a little. 

Q: Do you think this film represents a reflection upon the world we are in today?

If you look at history, it’s a perfect metaphor for any kind of dictatorship. We can portray it in fantasy terms, which deliver the message in a much more user-friendly way.



The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Film Page | Official Site