Oscar-winning actor Nicolas Cage is back in ‘Joe’ – an indie movie about an ex-con who becomes the unlikely role model of a young boy called Gary, who is suffering at the hands of an abusive, alcoholic father.
Together they try to find a path to redemption and the hope for a better life in the rugged, dirty world of small town Mississippi.
Cage spoke about his journey as an actor from indie to mainstream movies and back again: “I had taken a year off and was trying to find a movie where I could put whatever emotions or whatever wisdom I had obtained through my life experiences two years up to reading that script.”
“When ‘Joe’ came in I said, ‘Well this is what I am looking for because I don’t think I am going to have to act too much. I think I am just going to feel this.’ I think I had the emotional content to fill the dialogue in a way that’s truthful.”
The cast includes non-professional actor Gary Poulter, who plays the drunk father. He was discovered by director David Gordon Green on the streets as a homeless man. Tragically, Poulter died shortly after making the movie.
“It’s a pretty sad story really, because Gary was… he had talent,” says Cage.
“He showed up for work, he was on time, he knew his lines but he wasn’t a professional actor. And I remember I said to him, because he did have a drinking problem and he didn’t drink while we were filming, I said, ‘Gary, if you could just keep it together for a year, just a year, your phone is going to start ringing and your life is going to change, it’s going to be great.’ He said, ‘Really?’ I said, ‘Really.’ Then I got the call that he passed on and I was like ‘Wow’, and I was very upset by it, because his life would have… life changes.”
An adaptation of Larry Brown’s 1991 novel of the same name, the movie has opened to positive reviews in the United States, with near unanimous praise for the actors performances, including young Tye Sheridan in the role of Gary.
‘Joe’, starring Nicolas Cage, comes to European cinemas later this spring.