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How Nicolas Cage Behaved On Set Of Renfield, According To Ben Schwartz

Ben Schwartz, who stars alongside the great Nicolas Cage in "Renfield," has some high praise for the esteemed actor. In the film, Schwartz plays Teddy Lobo, New Orleans coke dealer and son to the leader of a crime syndicate with its sights set on running the entire Louisiana criminal scene. Through Renfield's (Nicholas Hoult) turn towards good and tangling with a bull-headed cop Rebecca Quincy (Awkwafina), the Lobo crime family gets mixed up with the vampire Count when they see their common ground in their efforts towards world domination.

Cage's turn as Dracula is something of a full circle moment for the actor, who starred in the 1980s cult classic "Vampire's Kiss" near the beginning of his Hollywood career. Schwartz expressed his excitement with Collider over sharing the screen with a legendary actor playing a legendary character. "So it's not even just Nic Cage, it's, 'I'm in front of Nic Cage as Dracula,' which is bananas," he said. "It's like two worlds, two idols, clashing to become one super idol."

Once he got past the grandeur of what he was a part of, Schwartz observed what Cage was like on set. "He was so committed, and he was there on time every day," Schwartz said. He said that he's noticed that other big stars take advantage of their star power and work the system, for example, getting to set late or not being ready to film. But he said of Cage, "He was so prepared, [and] game for anything."

Ben Schwartz praised Nicolas Cage for his turn as Dracula in Renfield

In his interview with Collider, Ben Schwartz had nothing but praise for Nicolas Cage. "When I improvised with him he was totally down and excited to improvise," Schwartz said, explaining that Cage would prepare for his scenes when he was supposed to be angry by getting himself in a rage right up until cameras began to roll and he'd enter the scene.

When asked about his interactions with Cage, Schwartz said he couldn't wait to start asking him film geek questions when they met. In fact, he did the same with another legendary star. "When I met Jim Carrey the first day I asked him about 'Ace Ventura' ... because I was like, 'I don't know when I'm ever gonna be near this person again.'"

Schwartz continued, "So, first day [I'm] talking to him about stuff ... I'm always interested in what they're watching, or unique experiences." They would get into discussions about other creatives that they liked, with Schwartz remarking that a star like Cage would probably be friends with any given person they would talk about, because he's been in the industry so long and has done so many projects. He said of Cage's career longevity, "He's a museum of knowledge, it's amazing."

"Renfield" is a sendup to the old Universal monster movies like the 1931 Bela Lugosi-led "Dracula." The opening scene even emulates some of that classic in a black-and-white segment that sees Cage recreating some of Lugosi's most memorable bits of dialogue. It's a monster movie fan's dream come true. For Schwartz, working with the beloved actor Nic Cage was also a dream realized. "It was everything I'd hoped one of those Hollywood icons would be," he enthused.