Did Nicolas Cage Ever Use His Genuine Previous Name Coppola Name as an Actor?

Nicolas Cage was born Nicolas Coppola, the son of August Coppola and Joy Vogelsang, in 1964. Cage’s father August was the older brother of Francis Ford Coppola, the director of The Godfather (1972), The Conversation (1974), and Apocalypse Now (1979). So Cage grew up the nephew of a Hollywood titan.

That may possibly seem like the best problem for Cage, who started performing as a teen at Beverly Hill Higher. At 15, he moved to San Francisco (Francis Coppola country) and took a course at the American Conservatory Theatre. And Cage began auditioning for phase and display screen roles.

Nevertheless, he quickly arrived to regard his spouse and children connections as a hindrance. “Casting agents would invest the complete audition inquiring about my Uncle Francis,” he after told Amusement Weekly. In quick, casting brokers did not think Cage essential a break — he experienced far better connections than everyone.

So Cage made the decision to transform his previous identify in the early ’80s. By the time he landed his position in Valley Lady (1983), he’d by now started employing his phase identify. Even so, he did rack up two early credits as Nicolas Coppola.

Nicolas Cage went by ‘Nicolas Coppola’ in a Tv set pilot and ‘Fast Periods at Ridgemont High’

Nicolas Cage and Sean Penn in publicity portrait for the movie ‘Racing With The Moon,’ 1984 | Paramount/Getty Visuals

Similar: ‘The Godfather III’: Why Sofia Coppola Played Mary Corleone Alternatively of Winona Ryder

In 1981, Cage landed his to start with monitor part in The Most effective of Moments, a pilot movie for a series that was hardly ever picked up. Although the element was not what Cage experienced in brain for his profession, he felt inspired by the speedy development he’d designed.

“I was 17,” the actor recalled in Nicolas Cage: Hollywood’s Wild Expertise (1998). “It was a incredibly undesirable tv clearly show, but just obtaining the portion stunned every person, since I’d kept [the auditions] to myself. I nonetheless experience happy about it simply because it was a little something that transpired of its very own accord.”

That job would stand as the very first of two that aspect his identify as Nicolas Coppola in the credits. The second is a person that people even now observe: Rapid Times at Ridgemont High (1982). Cage went out for the Brad Hamilton part (played by Judge Reinhold) but settled for the part of Brad’s good friend.

You have to observe diligently to see Cage in it. In 1 of his times, Cage’s character sticks a crude signal on a large college student’s back again. Cage in fact shot much more scenes as his character “Brad’s Bud,” but most didn’t make the remaining minimize of Rapidly Moments at Ridgemont High.

‘Fast Instances at Ridgemont High’ actors created enjoyable of Cage for his Coppola title

Nicolas Cage, 1984
Nicolas Cage in 1984 | Ron Galella/Ron Galella Assortment by way of Getty Illustrations or photos

By the time he landed his breakthrough Rapidly Occasions at Ridgemont High position, Cage was presently confident that the Coppola identify did a lot more harm than excellent. And, throughout the shoot, he recognized how it colored the way other actors imagined of him.

“I was the brunt of jokes due to the fact my name was nevertheless Coppola,” Cage claimed in Hollywood’s Wild Talent. “On the set, some of the actors would get with each other outside my trailer and recite a variation of Robert Duvall’s line from Apocalypse Now.”

The actors remodeled Duvall’s famous “I enjoy the smell of napalm in the morning” to “I enjoy the odor of Nicolas in the early morning.” (The horror.) Evidently, the time had come for Cage to move on from the household title. Yet he did not burn up any bridges. When Francis Coppola designed Rumble Fish (1983), Cage played a part in the film.

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