Nicholas Cage was my first celebrity impression, I was 8 years old. I grew up in an Italian family, and in Italian families certain movies are canon. The Godfather of course, but also Moonstruck. Italians love Moonstuck. My family is obsessed with it, and by the time I was in 3rd grade I had probably seen it 10 times at least.
It was a critically acclaimed movie at the time it was released in 1987, and won two academy awards. Best Original Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actress (Olympia Dukakis).
There wasn’t a ton for a young boy to latch onto in the female-centered rom-com, except for Ronnie Cammameri (Nick Cage). His performance is so over the top and out of left field that it captured my attention. At a certain point I just began to “do Ronnie.”
There is one scene in particular, when we first meet Ronnie, that was my bread and butter of the impression. I would do it start to finish, even doing the Cher parts.
When I started doing Ronnie my mom pretty much thought it was the funniest thing ever. I made her laugh so hard she snorted, here I was this little fat kid doing Cage at peak Cage levels. I’m pretty sure if the internet exists during my childhood I go viral off this. Probably down the road I would become the subject of a “where are they now of viral videos” with a “Whatever Happened to Fat Kid Cage? You’ll be shocked to find out what he looks like now” clickbait ad. headline. Instead my mom made me do the impression for extended family every time we went to Chicago until everyone had seen it. I was pretty much over it by then.
Cage takes this scene and just decides that’s he’s gonna fucking own it. As a writer I usually give credit too the writer, but this is all Cage. Those were just words on paper before my boy takes the reigns. The performance speaks for itself. This film and this scene were my baptism into the Church of Cage, this man inspired me as a youth, to mock and impersonate.
More Caged Wisdom this week on ATRAIN SPORTS: STAY TUNED.