Nicolas Cage Did Whatever He Wanted With His Never On Tuesday Character

Nicolas Cage is famous for being weird. There are endless video compilations of the bizarre acting choices he has made throughout his extremely prolific career, but an obscure direct-to-video movie from decades ago may hold his strangest appearance ever. Cage is only in a minute-long cameo in the 1989 teen sex comedy "Never on Tuesday," but his prosthetic nose and falsetto voice make it quite the memorable one. That's because for the glorious short time he was on camera, Cage was given free rein to do whatever he pleased.

"Never on Tuesday" marks the directorial debut of Adam Rifkin, who started off in public access television and went on to have an expansive career in making mostly low-budget independent films like the infamous black comedy "The Dark Backward" and the Burt Reynolds swan song "The Last Movie Star." The film follows the pursuits of two dudes trying to win the romance of a lesbian woman they meet after their car breaks down in the middle of the desert, a simple enough plot that also includes other random cameos from the likes of Charlie Sheen (who Rifkin directed later in "The Chase"), Emilio Estevez, Cary Elwes, and Gilbert Gottfried. It's Cage's moment, of course, that's now burned into the memories of those who have witnessed the scene.

An avant-garde Pinocchio

The once-lost film resurfaced in a Tweet made by Alex Navarro a couple of years ago in July 2019, but Cage provided more context to the clip in a recent Reddit AMA. According to him, he traded a paycheck for an opportunity to unleash his full creative energy with no holds barred. He posted about the experience:

"...I didn't get paid but the agreement was with the director and whoever was financing the picture that if I do it, they would let me do whatever I wanted. So it was a complete avant-garde experiment and of course I played a character who had a prosthetic nose which was very long and pointed."

The actor stated that he was trying to convey "a troubled live-action version of Pinocchio," although it's unclear what connection that has to the rest of the film, and called it his "favorite lesser-known performance." Perhaps that's because the cameo is a reflection of Cage's entire approach to acting. Ethan Hawke compared him to a troubadour, while David Lynch likened him to a jazz musician. There's arguably nothing more performative and improvisational than his complete non sequitur of a role in "Never on Tuesday."