Nicolas Cage Reveals The Downside Of Moonstruck's Popularity

In a career full of characters that range from quirky to downright unhinged, "Moonstruck" is one of Nicolas Cage's tenderest roles. Cage's performance as the impassioned baker Ronny Cammareri channels the actor's eccentricities into charm. The film was released in 1987 (with a wide release in January 1988) during a couple of months after his Coen brothers hit "Raising Arizona," gaining critical acclaim and solidifying Cage as one of the most interesting personalities for a romantic lead. However, the actor had to deal with people re-enacting a popular, particularly physical scene.

Cage would become even more famous the next decade when he won an Academy Award for "Leaving Las Vegas" and starred in a string of action films, but his momentum upward started in the late eighties. "Moonstruck" is probably more remembered for Cher's Oscar-winning performance, but the odd chemistry between the two stars provides the romantic comedy a comfortingly sweet bent.

The actor admitted that he initially didn't like being attached to the project and followed it up with the more "punk rock" "Vampire's Kiss," much to the chagrin of his agent who wanted him to "look handsome" instead of wearing fake plastic fangs. However, Cage has grown to enjoy the film, but one scene has haunted him with slaps from strangers.

Slapped by strangers

In one of the most famous scenes in the film, Cher smacks Nicolas Cage out of a depressed slump, launching her immortal "Snap out of it!" line. Unfortunately for Cage, everyone's attempts at copying the moment have led to a few good whacks in real life. In an interview with Entertainment Today for his role as Dracula in the upcoming "Renfield," Cage stated:

"For the longest time, back from 'Moonstruck,' I would walk to the airport and people just had a habit of saying, 'Snap out of it!' from 'Moonstruck' — the Cher 'snap out of it' [line] — and I did get slapped a few times."

The actor has no idea why people were so violently physical with him, but he joked that they "think maybe I'll cast them in something." Perhaps these anonymous slappers figured they could show Cage they could be on par with his chaotic energy, though surely none matched his epic wind-up slapdown in "Mom and Dad." To be fair, he didn't seem so traumatized by the incidents.

"...You know, it's part of the job," he reminded his "Renfield" co-star Nicholas Hoult who was shocked to hear about his physical altercations.