AT LACMA Mon 12.2.2013

Nicolas Cage Talks About Humor and Heart at Film Independent Screening of The Croods in 3D

Over the holiday weekend Film Independent members were invited to attend a free Film Independent at LACMA screening of the animated feature film The Croods in 3D. The crowd was treated to a post screening Q&A with co-writers/directors Chris Sanders and Kirk DeMicco and star Nicolas Cage.

The Croods is a film about a fanciful prehistoric world and a cave dwelling family’s life being disrupted by earthquakes that leave their land and home crumbling around them. Grug, voiced by Cage, is the conservative Crood family patriarch with an exaggerated fight-or-flight response. But at the heart he is an over-protective father who wants to keep his family safe, especially his strong-willed daughter Eep.

“I’m one of those performers that doesn’t want to put a limit on things.” Cage responded when asked about his comedic-yet-heartfelt portrayal of Grug. “When you work with directors you trust, you allow yourself as a performer to go for it because they will find specifically the right amount to use for a good scene. I’m of the opinion you can be as big as you want as long as there is emotional content within it. It has to be honest. It has to be emotionally connected… It’s wonderfully funny, but at the same time I can’t watch this movie without getting a little verklempt.”

Sanders and DeMicco both admitted that early in the development process they always had Cage in mind to play Grug. “We are very lucky that Nic said yes, because he was the only person that could play that character.” DeMicco went on the explain,  “This is a very tough character because it’s a dad with a lot of rules and he can be unlikeable. But, with Nic’s voice… you like him and you know his heart is in the right place.”

“They showed me the drawings and that immediately put the hook in.” Cage said. “I loved the way the world looked and the way the animals looked. And then I looked at Grug and I said, ‘Yeah, I want to be that guy.’ He’s a little scary, but not too scary. I like the way he is drawn and I think I want children to hear my voice coming out of that body.”

Three-year-old film lover, Charlotte D’Angelo, watched the film and gave a similar review.  “It was scary to me. I was scared a little and a lot.” During one of the scarier sequences of Grug saving his daughter Eep from a colorful saber-toothed tiger, Charlotte climbed into her own father’s lap. But she summed it up as she left the theatre saying, “I liked the family. Can I watch the movie again?”

Charlotte D’Angelo, Croods fan and future film critic (?)

By Kate Walker D’Angelo / Director of Institutional Giving & Charlotte’s Mom