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Nicolas Cage on Creating ‘Longlegs’ Serial Killer, Inspiration From Mother

Nicolas Cage on Creating ‘Longlegs’ Serial Killer, Inspiration From Mother

Nicolas Cage on Creating ‘Longlegs’ Serial Killer, Inspiration From Mother

In the upcoming horror movie Longlegs, Nicolas Cage stars as a mysterious, Satanic serial killer who is known by that same title. And though the film has drawn comparisons to Silence of the Lambs and Zodiac, Cage points to his late mother as one of his inspirations for the movie.

Cage’s mother Joy Vogelsang passed away in 2021, and the actor has previously spoken about how she struggled with mental illness for most of his childhood, at points institutionalized and undergoing shock treatments.

At the film’s Los Angeles premiere on Monday, Cage explained how for his character, “it’s the voices, it’s not really him; he’s been hijacked by something else. I’ve often thought what was it that happened to my mom — if I’m any good in this movie, it’s because of my mother. That also gave me a bit of empathy for the character, as crazy as what his situation is and what he’s getting up to with these effigies.”

In Longlegs, Maika Monroe stars as a new FBI agent assigned to the unsolved serial killer case, discovering a personal connection to the murderer as she tries to stop him before more people are killed. In the trailer and marketing for the movie, Cage’s appearance is mostly kept hidden, except for the high-pitched voice belonging to his character.

Cage told The Hollywood Reporter that he crafted both his character’s unrecognizable look and voice alongside writer-director Osgood Perkins, with the star saying he was “calling him at 4:30 in the morning on Christmas Day two years ago giving him soundbites of me rehearsing the dialogue.”

For the physical transformation — turning Cage very pale with long blonde hair — it was about “finding this very androgynous, he-she look, glam rock look to the character that was important to me so that he didn’t look anything like me and that I found liberating, that I could speak in this way and move in this way and talk about these very dark things,” the actor explained. “I wanted the character to be an androgynous almost prophet, in the Fellini movie Juliet of the Spirits.”

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Perkins added that for the voice, “we talked about what was the opposite of being aggressive? Was there sort of a feminine aspect that would be interesting?” Perkins said Cage would go off and “sort of does his homework and brings it to me at the front of the classroom and I sort of check it and if something looks good I say yeah, if something is a little too far I bring it back. I’m just curating it, I’m not telling him what to do.”

Longlegs hits theaters on Friday.

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