Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Evolution of Nicolas Cage's Hair

A Caged, Hairy Animal

      I may be a little late on this post, but I am fairly certain that many moviegoers have not seen this mashup. Harry Hanrahan, an intrepid video editor and the creator of a varying array of viral YouTube videos, has put together a ridiculous and hilarious compilation of Nicolas Cage's storied hair transformations. Throughout his eccentric, though flourishing film career, Cage has been the subject of many versatile and stylistically erratic, hair follicle alterations. Cage's critics would claim his hair represents a more unique and refreshing display of style-and-substance than the actor's actual work. Personally, I would not go to such lengths to deride Cage's distinct acting credentials, but nonetheless, his character's diverse hairstyles do evoke a certain wondrous visual quality. As tenacious and dedicated as Christian Bale is to his physical craft—undergoing intense physical transformations that are detrimental to his health—so to does Cage employ the same level of dedication to his dated sideburns and receding hair line.  
      A devout method actor, Cage would surely offer up a colorful and righteous soundbite to describe his numerous character's hairstyles; no doubt, an overture of his dedication. He would opine something along the lines of, "My hair is my artistic vessel...where my raw, exceptional talent can match my physical being." Of course, this is not a real Nicolas Cage quote. Though, I would never question the likelihood of the quirky leading man authoring such a newsworthy quip. In fact, Cage was asked by UGO about his obsession with his character's hairstyles, and he provided this riveting explanation:

"I learned early on that one of the tools that an actor has is to use hair and makeup to kind of transform himself, to try to create new characters, so that you can lose yourself in the character. It does help with believing that you can become somebody else. And that goes all the way back to Lon Cheney, who was perhaps the master at disguising himself. There's always an aspect of disguise that I like about film acting."

      It seems my fabricated quote does not stray too far from the truth. An artificial sounding Nic Cage bears a close resemblance to the real deal.
      As you play Harry's video, perhaps, you will recognize the name of the pulsating, climactic music. It is none other than Edvard Grieg's orchestral piece, "In the Hall of the Mountain King." These sounds are used to great comedic effect.
      I encourage everyone to laugh at Nicolas Cage's expense ... I'm often guilty of it myself. In fact, my favorite Cage hairstyle is from Adaptation. Inhabiting the famous screenwriter, Charlie Kaufman, Cage gives a breathlessly inventive performance, but he also fashions a woeful and bizarre hairstyle. I guess no one will ever confuse Kaufman as suave and debonair. Cage's Adaptation hairstyle can most aptly be characterized as terrifying and obscene. In real life, some consider Cage a handsome and elegant man. Perhaps, Money Talks. 
      I only ask one favor. What hairstyle do you find the funniest? His Con Air mullet, his punk rock locks in Valley Girl, his blond busby hair in Peggy Sue Got Married, his Abe Lincoln style from The Weather Man, his freakish, werewolf hairdo from Grindhouse, his creepy, jet black assassin hair from Bangkok Dangerous, or the mustache, flaky hair combo in Raising Arizona? Or something else entirely? There are so many hairstyle faux pas to choose from. Without further ado, reserve the next 2 and 1/2 minutes of your time for this hypnotic and entertaining mashup. 

*Harry's original video is available on YouTube from this link: The Evolution of Nicolas Cage's Hair

Below is a list of movies used in Harry Hanrahan's video compilation: 

00’08 - Valley Girl
00’14 - Rumble Fish
00’18 - Racing with the Moon
00’21 - The Cotton Club
00’23 - Birdy
00’27 - The Boy In Blue
00’31 - Peggy Sue Got Married
00’35 - Raising Arizona
00’40 - Moonstruck
00’44 - Vampire’s Kiss
00’49 - Fire Birds
00’52 - Wild at Heart
00’55 - Zandalee
00’59 - Honeymoon In Vegas
01’02 - Amos & Andrew
01’05 - Red Rock West
01’08 - Deadfall
01’13 - Guarding Tess
01’15 - It Could Happen to You
01’17 - Trapped In Paradise
01’19 - Kiss of Death
01’24 - Leaving Las Vegas
01’27 - The Rock
01’30 - Con Air
01’35 - Face/Off
01’38 - City of Angels
01’39 - Snake Eyes
01’40 - 8MM
01’42 - Bringing Out the Dead
01’44 - Gone In Sixty Seconds
01’46 - The Family Man
01’48 - Captain Corelli’s Mandolin
01’50 - Windtalkers
01’52 - Sonny
01’54 - Adaptation
01’56 - Matchstick Men
01’58 - National Treasure
02’00 - Lord of War
02’02 - The Weather Man
02’03 - World Trade Center
02’05 - Grindhouse: Werewolf Women of the SS
02’07 - The Wicker Man
02’09 - Ghost Rider
02’11 - Next
02’13 - National Treasure 2
02’14 - Bangkok Dangerous
02’16 - Knowing
02’18 - Bad Lieutenant
02’20 - Kick-Ass
02’21 - The Sorcerer’s Apprentice


  1. "As tenacious and dedicated as Christian Bale is to his physical craft—undergoing intense physical transformations that are detrimental to his health—so to does Cage employ the same level of dedication to his dated sideburns and receding hair line." BWAHAHA. Perfect. I couldn't have said it better myself. This video definitely made me grin. Choosing one awful hairstyle out of this monstrosity is really a challenge. I've got to say, I'm going to have to go with Zandalee. I don't know what animal they killed to put on his head, but I'm filing a complaint against animal cruelty.

  2. Haha thanks. Great choice!

    I like your idea. I'll take it one step further. Hollywood needs to spearhead a movement to have every strand of Cage's past hairstyles donated to "Locks of Love." That'd be enough hair for every human-hair wig store to flourish for the next decade.

  3. I pity the Locks of Love fools that would be subjected to those donated hairstyles.

  4. LMAO!!! Mine is a toss up between the glam rock mullet of Con Air and the insane tresses in Werewolf Women of the SS.

    Of course you know Nic Cage was chosen as the celebrity most likely to be a serial killer

    I mean he beat out Mel Gibson, Tom Cruise and Gary Busey.

  5. LOL! Matt, that's a hilarious post. I loved it. The third photo of your collage has to be my favorite. It somewhat reminds me of Ryan Gosling. :)

  6. 'tis interesting that even though Nick changes his hair so often, he never had a hairstyle which would actually look nice on him :)
    And I never understood men who are afraid of going bald and he seems to be one of them .. bald is sexy :)

  7. @ M. Hufstader


    @ Melissa

    Haha that article was hilarious. Taking into account Cage's weird hairstyles, there is no doubt he is the most feared serial killer candidate in Hollywood.

  8. @ Nebular

    Thanks! That's actually a good point. Cage's look from Raising Arizona does kind of resemble Gosling in certain settings. His outfit, mustache, and crazy hairstyle combo is classic humor.

    @ Dezmond

    I've never understood why so many consider Cage a dashing leading man. Most of the time, he is painfully unattractive.

    Yeah, he is definitely avoiding reality. I've never seen Cage play a bald character. Perhaps, that'll be his next endeavor.

  9. Crikey (as we say in NZ) so many deliciously hideous choices!

    But sadly, I must admit he's painfully unattractive at the best of times. So, all of the above :)

    Fun wee post, Matty V :)

  10. Lol Wendy. Indeed, there were many "hideous" choices.

    Thanks! I wanted to have some fun with this post. Cage is such an interesting and eccentric actor, so it wasn't to difficult to poke fun at him.

  11. Saw your comment on Welcome To Me, and came over to check you out. Love the video!

  12. Thanks for the comment. All I can say is Cage is an animal!

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