Nicolas Cage may have to live under the unbearable weight of his massive talent, but one in 10 Gen Zers still don’t know who he is.

In our recent online poll of 2,000 people, 13% of younger respondents (ages 18-25) claimed not to be familiar with the actor when shown a picture of his face.

That’s in contrast to the 92% of respondents overall who recognized him, more than half of whom (53%) described themselves as “extremely familiar.”

Gen Z was also more likely to describe Cage as “compelling to watch” (74%) and “weird” (64%) compared to other generations polled. 

Respondents were also asked whether they’d consider him a “good at acting” and/or “bad at acting”— which, as fans of the NBC sitcom “Community” would likely point out, are not mutually exclusive in his case. 

In total, 81% agreed with the former and 41% with the latter, suggesting that a sizable number of respondents believe Cage is capable of both good and bad performances simultaneously — but that ultimately, his good ones tend to win out. 

It’s this paradoxical, larger-than-life persona that’s being brought to life in “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” via a fictional version of Nick Cage who attends a wealthy fan’s birthday party for money so he can pull himself back from financial ruin.

Famously, the real-life Cage also owed millions of dollars in debt, and paid it back — in full, as of a year and a half ago, a recent GQ cover profile revealed — by taking on as many roles as he possibly could, often in straight-to-VOD projects. 

“When I was doing four movies a year, back to back to back, I still had to find something in them to be able to give it my all,” he told GQ. “They didn’t work, all of them […] But I never phoned it in. So if there was a misconception, it was that. That I was just doing it and not caring. I was caring.”

It seems to have paid off, and not just financially. 66% of respondents said that finding out Nicolas Cage is in a movie makes them more likely to go and see it.

Thirty-eight percent are already planning a trip to the theater when “Massive Talent” premieres on April 22 — including 45% of Gen Zers.

  1. “Ghost Rider” - 39%
  2. “National Treasure” - 35%
  3. “Gone in 60 Seconds” - 33%
  4. “Face/Off” - 33%
  5. “Raising Arizona” - 32%
  6. “The Rock” - 30%
  7. “Lord of War” - 30%
  8. “Moonstruck” - 29%
  9. “The Wicker Man” - 28%
  10. “Kick-Ass” - 27%
  11. “The Weather Man” - 27%
  12. “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans” - 25%
  13. “Adaptation.” - 24%
  14. “Mandy” - 24%
  15. “Pig” - 20%
  16. None of the above - 13%
  17. Something not listed (Please specify)* - 2%
  *Responses included  “Ant Bully,”  “Matchstick Girl,” “Snake Eyes,” “Con-Air,” “Leaving Las Vegas,” “Knowing,” “Valley Girl” and “Angel of Death.” 

How well do you 'know' Nicolas Cage? Take our quick quiz.

This OnePoll general population online survey was conducted in April 2022, with 2,000 Americans.

As members of AAPOR – the American Association for Public Opinion Research, OnePoll researchers adhere to the principles and actions set out in the AAPOR Code.

Header photo credit: Pedro Marroquin on Unsplash