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Nicolas Cage on Not Playing Superman, Sundance Movie ‘Mandy …

Nicolas Cage needed a cleansing after filming the gory action movie, “Mandy,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday. “You wouldn’t believe the process it took to get it off every night,” Cage says, of the fake blood that covered him. “I couldn’t go back to the hotel looking the way I looked in the movie. I mean look at me.” He holds up the film’s red-stained poster. “I was in the shower for an hour every night.”

After spending four decades in Hollywood, Cage is undergoing a kind of baptism. He’s stepped away from big-budgeted blockbusters — like “National Treasure” — and he’s returned to his indie roots. “Mandy” was made for a small budget by cult director Panos Cosmatos (“Beyond the Black Rainbow”). Cage plays a man named Red, who goes to any lengths necessary (cue the chainsaw) to rescue the woman he loves from a cult kidnapping.

In a wide-ranging interview, Cage spoke to Variety about the movie business.

You were originally offered the villain role in “Mandy” but turned it down?
I didn’t feel I had the experience, the memories to play it authentically. I didn’t connect with that part.

But you’ve played villains before.
Yeah, just this one I couldn’t get my head around playing the cult aspect of it. I just never had any acolytes. I was never interested in having people worship me.

The movie business has changed so much since you started in Hollywood. Last year, ticket prices were down and more directors are embracing streaming their films.

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