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The Bonkers Nicolas Cage Role That Influenced Pedro Pascal In Wonder Woman 1984

Whether he's providing the voice of an animated 1930s version of Spider-Man or screaming in agony over bees, Nicolas Cage has never been one to settle for a performance that's just "good enough." For the better part of four decades, he has taken on roles that range from cartoonish to dramatic, leaving audiences thoroughly entertained time and time again. Unsurprisingly, Cage's work on the silver screen has also left an impression on some of his contemporaries, such as Pedro Pascal, who stars alongside the cinematic icon in the upcoming action-comedy "The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent."

The Tom Gormican-directed project stars Nicolas Cage as a fictionalized himself who takes up a $1 million payday to visit with a mysterious superfan named Javi Gutierrez (Pascal). As it turns out, Pascal's character isn't as made-up as he might sound, seeing as the "Mandalorian" star has admitted to being a huge fan of Cage in real life. Long before he became a household name, Pascal immersed himself in Cage's filmography and grew to appreciate his incredible acting range. Thus, he considers him to be something of a teacher, looking to him as a major influence on his own work in front of the camera.

Even as recently as 2020's "Wonder Woman 1984," Pedro Pascal studied an iconic yet bonkers Nicolas Cage role to get one of his scenes just right.

Pascal looked to Cage's performance in Vampire's Kiss to perfect his take on Maxwell Lord

For "Wonder Woman 1984," Pedro Pascal took on the part of antagonist Maxwell Lord: a down-on-his-luck businessman who uses a magical artifact known as the Dreamstone to make the world's dreams come true. This plan works out swimmingly for the newly-successful Lord, but once he transfers the stone's power to himself, his healthy quickly deteriorates. The once-confident and smooth-talking entrepreneur soon became a disheveled, paranoid mess of a man as his time among the living ticked down, requiring Pascal to channel a similar kind of energy to that of Nicolas Cage in 1989's "Vampire's Kiss."

According to an April 19, 2022 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Pascal knew he'd need to take his Maxwell Lord performance to the next level for a particular scene. To do so, he drew inspiration from Cage's approach to Peter Loew: a literary agent who believes he's turning into a vampire and flies off the handle because of it. Pascal recalls a moment from "Vampire's Kiss" where Loew jumps on a table and begins berating his secretary, Alva Restrepo (María Conchita Alonso), as especially important to his depiction of Lord. Although, he admits that he didn't go full-throttle as Cage did way back when.

While "Wonder Woman 1984" remains less than beloved by DC Extended Universe fans, at least it gave Pedro Pascal the chance to unleash his inner Nicolas Cage for the world to see.