08-25-2019  6:20 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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Records: Portland Spent $1,100 per Night for Aide's Hotel

Documents show that Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler's office billed city taxpayers jumi,123 a night for an aide's hotel accommodations while at a conference

Money Crunch After Planned Parenthood Quits Federal Program

Clinics begin charging new fees, tapping financial reserves and intensifying fundraising

New Hate Crime Law Kicks In

SB577 requires state to better track bias crimes

Mayor: Show Extra Love at Portland Businesses After Protests

The City of Portland and more are offering deals and free parking downtown this weekend in an effort to generate some of the revenue lost during last weekend's political protests


Local Actors Star in Haunting, Stripped-Down Macbeth

This fall, Chantal DeGroat, Dana Green, and Lauren Bloom Hanover star in a stripped-down production of Macbeth, directed by Adriana...

Albina Ministerial Alliance to Host Community Forum on Police Association Contract Aug. 26

Forum will take place at Maranatha Church beginning at 6 p.m. ...

Travel Portland Opens New Director Park Visitor Center

Hosts “Celebrating All Things Portland” grand opening weekend celebration ...

Police are Trying to Connect Floyd Leslie Hill to His Loved Ones

The Portland Police Bureau is asking for the community's help in locating the loved ones of Floyd Leslie Hill who passed away on...

New maps chart possible course for estuary restoration

ASTORIA, Oregon (AP) — A new survey reveals the West Coast has lost about 85% of its historical estuary habitat, but the mapping could also help identify restoration opportunities and provide a baseline for predicting future changes.Though large estuaries like the Columbia River have been...

Deputies kill man who allegedly came at them with a knife

COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. (AP) — Deputies shot and killed a man they said came at him with a knife in Cottage Grove.The Lane County Sheriff's Office said it received a report of a dispute between a male and a female but that deputies were unable to locate them.They retuned around 1 a.m. Saturday,...

Ex-Clemson star Kelly Bryant takes over at QB for Missouri

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Barry Odom never seems stressed about the future, whether the Missouri coach is pondering tough sanctions handed down by the NCAA over a recruiting scandal or the fact that one of the most prolific passers in school history is now in the NFL.When it comes to the...

Missouri DE Williams pleads to misdemeanor, put on probation

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri defensive end Tre Williams pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and was sentenced to two years of unsupervised probation after prosecutors dropped a felony domestic assault charge.The Columbia Daily Tribune reports Williams pleaded guilty to peace disturbance and was...


Why I’m Visiting the Border

People of color are feeling less safe today and any day when we see the realities of domestic terrorism and racially-motivated acts of violence ...

Why Lady Liberty Weeps

The original concept was to have Lady Liberty holding a broken shackle and chain in her left hand, to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States. ...

Avel Gordly's Statement in Advance of Aug. 17 Rally

'All we have on this planet is one another' ...

A National Crisis: Surging Hate Crimes and White Supremacists

Our history chronicles the range of hate crimes that have taken the lives of Latinos as well as Native Americans, Blacks, Jews, and the LGBTQ community ...


Biggest ever Kentridge show explores Africa's history

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — Evocative videos, graphic tapestries, charcoal drawings, woodcut prints, sculptures and immersive sound installations combine in the largest-ever show by South African artist William Kentridge to explore compelling themes including South Africa's apartheid...

Oregon defends past nonunanimous jury verdicts to high court

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon's criminal justice system would be "overwhelmed" if the U.S. Supreme Court rules in an upcoming case that nonunanimous jury verdicts are unconstitutional, the state's attorney general has told the court.Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said in an amicus brief on...

Tennis champ, trailblazer Althea Gibson honored at US Open

NEW YORK (AP) — Althea Gibson basked in a ticker-tape parade in New York a decade before Arthur Ashe won the 1968 U.S. Open.Gibson won 11 majors in three years from 1956-58, including the French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open singles titles. She integrated two sports — tennis and golf...


Disney Legends honor prompts Robert Downey Jr. pot story

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Robert Downey Jr. says he had a wild Disneyland ride in his younger days.The "Iron Man" and "Avengers: Endgame" star, among those honored Friday as Disney Legends, said his first visit to the Southern California resort included a brief detention for "smoking pot in a...

Beyonce, Sinatra among those on Obama summer song playlist

NEW YORK (AP) — The Obama summer playlist has everyone from Drake and Beyonce to Steely Dan and Frank Sinatra. The former president calls it "some new, some old, some fast, some slow."Barack Obama tweeted 44 songs Saturday that he and his wife, Michelle, have been listening to. They include...

Obi-Wan, Lizzie McGuire join new Disney Plus platform

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Ewan McGregor is reprising his "Star Wars" role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in a new series, one of the many splashy projects that Disney is banking on to make its new streaming platform competitive.The as-yet untitled Disney Plus show drew big cheers when it was announced...


Luck announces retirement following Colts loss to Bears

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Andrew Luck watched one last game from the sideline Saturday.Then he said goodbye to...

Best the G-7 can do for global economy: not make it worse

BIARRITZ, France (AP) — The global economy craves a double shot of confidence right now. The most the...

Extinction bites: countries agree to protect sharks and rays

GENEVA (AP) — Countries have agreed to protect more than a dozen shark species at risk of extinction, in a...

Pope, urging prayers, says Amazon forest vital for our Earth

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis said Sunday that the Amazon forest is vital for our Earth and is urging...

Hong Kong police fire tear gas, roll out water cannon trucks

HONG KONG (AP) — Police in Hong Kong used tear gas Sunday to clear pro-democracy demonstrators who had...

Israel says it thwarts imminent Iranian attack from Syria

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military attacked targets near Damascus late Saturday in what it said was a...

Kam Williams Special to The Skanner News

Academy Award-winner Nicolas Cage won his Oscar for "Leaving Las Vegas" in 1996, before going on to deliver memorable performances in movies like "National Treasure" 1 & 2, "Kick Ass," "Face/Off," "Con Air," "Snake Eyes," "The Rock," "Captain Corelli's Mandolin," "Adaptation," "World Trade Center," "Knowing" and "The Bad Lieutenant." The versatile thespian has also enjoyed impressive outings in "Moonstruck," "Raising Arizona," "Wild at Heart," "The Cotton Club," "Peggy Sue Got Married," "Red Rock West," "Amos & Andrew," "Birdy" and "Fast Times at Ridgemont High."

Here, he talks about reprising the title role of the "Ghost Rider," aka Johnny Blaze, in "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance," the sequel to the original adaptation of the Marvel Comics series about a motorcycle stuntman who sells his soul to the devil in order to transform into a superhuman vigilante.



Kam Williams: Hi Nick, how you been, bro?

Nicolas Cage: Very well, thanks, Kam.


KW: What interested you in reprising the role of "Ghost Rider?"

NC: First of all, these two guys, [co-directors] Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, were very adamant that we overhaul the entire experience, and that this "Ghost Rider, Spirit of Vengeance," be a separate entity in its own right, a much more terrifying interpretation. I wanted the character to be like a bad dream, something you don't fully understand that hopefully will excite you and terrify you at the same time.


KW: Harriet Pakula Teweles asks: How was making the sequel different? Did you feel any pressure to up the ante?

NC: There's always a pressure to excel in some way, to go above and beyond, to have the sequel provide something that's new. The way that I was able to participate in that process here is that I was actually allowed to play both Johnny Blaze and the Ghost Rider. I didn't play the Ghost Rider in the first movie. That was a stuntman. In this film, the Ghost Rider feels much more alive because I did put some thought into how he should walk and into how he should move. I was so into the character, in fact, that I would paint my face with white and black makeup to look like a skull. And I put on blacked-out contact lenses, so I almost looked like an Afro-New Orleanian voodoo icon by the name of Baron Samedi. Oh man, I would walk around the set without saying a word to anybody, and I could see the fear in my co-stars' and co-directors' eyes. And that fear was like oxygen to a forest fire to the point where I really believed this spiritual force.


KW: Harriet has a follow-up: What's it like to play a comic book character?

NC: It opens my imagination to an infinite number of possibilities, and then I kind of have to locate the ones that I think are going to be the most exciting to watch onscreen. When you're playing a spirit from another dimension, you really can do anything and get as abstract as you want and still have a context that will work within the movie. I wanted Ghost Rider to move in a way where it would be like a bad dream. I thought about cobra snakes, and the way that they will show you their backs and sway in a rhythmic motion and almost lull you to sleep before suddenly attacking. Well, I put that into the movie. And I decided to move my head in the jerky way a praying mantis does. So, I did all these things to give the movie a feeling of otherness. I was very thrilled that the directors were open to utilizing my imagination in that fashion.   


KW: What do you think of its 3-D effects?

NC: I haven't seen it yet in 3-D, but I have no doubt that it'll be exciting because this character really lends himself to that format. The idea of motorcycles, hellfire chains and spitting bullets going into the audience just rocks!


KW: Editor/legist Patricia Turnier asks: If you have the opportunity to play a historical figure, who would you like to portray?

NC: I'm not really interested in playing famous people. I prefer to create characters. And I hope I have an exciting enough life that somebody might make a movie about that one day. I don't want to make movies about other people. I was once approached about playing Salvador Dali, which I thought would've been fun until I found out that he was proud of kicking a blind man across the street. So, I decided, I didn't want to play that guy. There was also talk about me possibly playing Liberace, but I heard that Michael Douglas might be interested in the role, and I don't want to get in his way at all. So, I think I'll just keep it the way it is.


KW: Patricia also asks: What advice would you give yourself regarding the movie business, if you could go back in time and speak to the teenaged Nicolas Cage about to make his first film?

NC: I would say, "Be more careful with your finances, and try to not let them get in the way."


KW: Children's book author Irene Smalls asks: Are there goals you still want to attain?

NC: Yeah, I want to continue in the direction I'm already headed by mixing the independent, dramatic work with an increasingly abstract style of acting that I can explore in horror or sci-fi films. I just want to keep going there, and hopefully one day even write a script. 


KW: Irene was also wondering, what gives you the greatest joy?

NC: Children smiling and laughing.


KW: Filmmaker Kevin Williams asks: Did you ever consider writing your own material and or/directing yourself? I think you would be wonderful at both. 

NC: Thanks, Kevin. Well, I did have a small role in a movie I directed called Sonny. I played a gay pimp named Acid Yellow in that movie. And yes, I plan to explore writing, but more likely in a novel format. 


KW: The Melissa Harris-Perry question: How did your first, big heartbreak impact who you are as a person?

NC: Well, because I'm a romantic, I tend to take things pretty hard, and I'm sure the emotion of my first big heartbreak had much to do with the energy that I put into my performances. So, it fueled my work.


KW: The Sanaa Lathan question: What excites you?

NC: What excites me is making a positive connection with an audience where I create something and the public enjoys it and rolls with it. 


KW: Dante Lee, author of "Black Business Secrets," asks: What was the best business decision you ever made?

NC: My best business decision was probably doing Leaving Las Vegas, although that was more of a creative expression than a business decision. I think my best business choices have come as a result of collaborating with Jerry Bruckheimer because he always has his finger on the pulse of what the audience seems to want.  


KW: The Judyth Piazza question: What key quality do you believe all successful people share?  

NC: I believe there's an infinite energy that emanates from successful people. They're tireless and have a need to be creative. There's no choice in the matter. They just have to do it. 


KW: Attorney Bernadette Beekman asks: What is your favorite charity?

NC: I'm always interested in children, anything having to do with kids. I used to work with Amnesty International and the United Nations to free child soldiers in Africa. 


KW: The Laz Alonso question: How can your fans help you?

NC: By just being themselves.


KW: Two Pastor Alex Kendrick questions: When do you feel the most content?

NC: When everybody I love is okay.


KW: Secondly, what do you wish other people would note about you?

NC: That I care about my work.


KW: The Toure question: Who is the person who led you to become the person you are today?

NC: My father.


KW: The Nancy Lovell Question: Why do you love doing what you do?

NC: Because it is a positive expression that can take negative memories and turn them into something good, sort of like Ghost Rider himself.


KW: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps?

NC: To not give up and to not listen to criticism.


KW: Thanks again for the time, Nick, and best of luck with Ghost Rider.

NC: Thanks for another excellent interview, Kam. I like your energy and I'm very happy about the thought that you and your readers put into the questions. So, I thank you.


KW: I look forward to speaking with you about your next project.

NC: Absolutely, right! I'll see you in the future. Cheers!


See a trailer for "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance" 


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