Seth Rogen has been making the rounds promoting Yearbook, his new collection of essays, and recanting tales of bizarre celebrity encounters. After detailing the time George Lucas refused to let him on his hypothetical-or-maybe-not spaceship, Rogen’s latest tale involves Nicolas Cage, a dinner party, and an ill-advised Jamaican accent.
While chatting with Howard Stern, Rogen recalls the time he was working on the 2011 movie “The Green Hornet”. While the film was in development, he and friend and writing partner Evan Goldberg were encouraged by Sony Pictures to meet with Nicolas Cage for the role of the villain. Noting he was a “huge fan” of Cage, Rogen agreed to a call with the Academy Award-winning actor.
Rogen was already a little trepidacious about the encounter, explaining, “There are a lot of Nicolas Cages… And you don’t know what Nicolas Cage you’re going to get.”
The version Rogen got was allegedly a Jamaican one.
“We got a phone call that he wants to play a white Bahamian man—it was pitched as a white Jamaican guy basically, which set off a lot of alarms. Not that a white Jamaican man is bad, but doing the accent and all this stuff just seemed like it was a world of trouble,” Rogen remembers.
Following the phone call, then-Sony head Amy Pascal suggested the group meet for dinner at her home.
“Literally we showed up and within 60 seconds we were all seated in the living room as he stands in front of us reciting a monologue in a Jamaican accent… A monologue, I should add, that is not in the script. Nor did it have anything to do with the script.
“There was no indication that he had any idea what film we were trying to make in any way, really. Other than that it was called ‘The Green Hornet’ and there was a villain.”
When his “performance” was over, Cage acted as “though he just landed a backflip and he’s waiting for the applause. And everyone looks to me to express the group reaction to this and I was so uncomfortable.”
“I didn’t know what to say. I was like, ‘It was OK. Cool, thanks. We should talk about it. That’s not how we pictured the character.’ And I clearly didn’t give him the reaction he wanted because he instantly was just sullen,” Rogen tells Stern, adding that as soon as dinner was ready, Cage got up and told the group he had to leave.
“It was a brisk wave and a walk out the door,” Rogen says. Though Cage didn’t get the part of the villain in “The Green Hornet”, the actor later accused Rogen of telling James Franco the story of his performance as the basis for his white rapper character in “Spring Breakers”.
Rogen denied telling Franco the story and that the Jamaican character Cage performed was not an inspiration for “Spring Breakers”.
“He very clearly didn’t believe me. That was apparent,” Rogen laughs. “He was suspicious I would say, at best.”