AGENT: Hey, Nic, thanks for coming in. I — what the hell is that on your head?
CAGE: It’s a bird, man! Have you seen that Photoshop on the Internet where they turned my hair into a bird? I thought it looked cool, so I had it done for real.
AGENT: You … attached a bird to your head.
CAGE: Yes. Not a live one, though.
CAGE: I mean, it was alive at one point, but not anymore. It stopped being alive before I sewed it to my head.
CAGE: I don’t want you to think I would sew a live bird to my head.
AGENT: Of course not.
CAGE: Do you like it?
AGENT: Uh, sure. But as your agent, I’m concerned that having a bird attached to your head might make it difficult for you to get certain roles.
CAGE: Like what roles?
AGENT: Well, like roles where you would be playing someone who does not have a bird attached to his head.
CAGE: Right. Right. I see what you’re getting at. There are pros and cons.
AGENT: Listen, that’s kind of what I wanted to talk to you about anyway. The roles you’ve been playing.
CAGE: Yeah, I’ve been trying to mix it up a little.
AGENT: I — what?
CAGE: You know, I played a crazy guy in “The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call — New Orleans,” and a psychotic guy in “Kick-Ass,” and a somewhat unhinged fellow in “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” and a paranoid man in “Knowing,” and a dude who loses his mind in “The Wicker Man”…
CAGE: Just trying to keep things loose. Variety is the spice of life, you know. That’s what my old sensei used to tell me when I was training to become a shaolin monk.
AGENT: You do realize that every role you just mentioned involved you being insane?
CAGE: Huh. Whoa. You know, now that you mention it, I do see a vague kind of running theme.
AGENT: It’s not vague. In every single movie you make, you are insane, even if the character isn’t supposed to be.
CAGE: Nah, really? No! That can’t be right.
AGENT: It is!
CAGE: Every single movie?
AGENT: Pretty much everything in the last several years, yeah.
CAGE: Even “Ghost Rider”?
AGENT: Especially “Ghost Rider.”
CAGE: What about the “National Treasures”?
CAGE: What about “Crank”?
AGENT: You weren’t in “Crank.”
CAGE: I’m pretty sure I was.
AGENT: I’m certain you were not.
CAGE: Let’s agree to disagree, amigo.
AGENT: The problem is that it’s getting harder and harder to find work for you. The only time directors are interested anymore is when they want to make something campy and outrageous. Nobody wants to put you in anything serious.
CAGE: What are you talking about? I did that Oliver Stone film about 9/11.
AGENT: OK, I’ll give you “World Trade Center.”
CAGE: There, see? I alternate. I do a crazy film, then I do a serious film. Crazy film, serious film. Back and forth like that.
AGENT: No, you’re not doing crazy, serious, crazy, serious. You’re doing crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy, serious, crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy.
CAGE: “The Ant Bully.”
CAGE: I was thinking of “The Ant Bully” before, when I said I was in “Crank.”
AGENT: Oh. Yeah. I can see how you’d get those confused. Yes, you did some voice work in “The Ant Bully.”
CAGE: I rocked that shiz! Wait, what do you mean voice work?
AGENT: It was a cartoon.
CAGE: What?! Then why did I spend two hours in the makeup chair every morning?!
AGENT: That’s what the rest of us were wondering.
CAGE: You know, I feel like I’m getting taken advantage of here. No one appreciates my skills. Every movie I do, I bring something unique to the table.
AGENT: I agree, absolutely.
CAGE: If you’re my agent, your job is to find parts that are suited to my skills. You don’t bring in Dame Judi Dench and tell her she’s supposed to play Evel Knievel. She wouldn’t be any good at that. Her hair’s the wrong color, and she can’t ride a motorcycle.
CAGE: You wouldn’t try to shoehorn Dame Judi into the Evel Knievel biopic, would you?
CAGE: WOULD YOU??!
CAGE: So why do you keep trying to get me to play normal things like fathers, and husbands, and businessmen, and sane people, and people who aren’t alcoholics, and people who comb their hair? I’m terrible at those things!
AGENT: I see what you’re saying. You want to embrace your strengths.
AGENT: And your strengths include hamming it up, saying weird things, behaving erratically, making melodramatic proclamations about the whereabouts of historical documents, and playing thousand-year-old wizards who trained with Merlin.
CAGE: And ants. I was a kick-ass ant in “Crank.”
AGENT: You mean “The Ant Bully.”
CAGE: Sure, sure, whoever. Oh, and punching ladies! I did a lot of lady-punching in “The Wicker Man. Not that I condone that sort of thing in real life, mind you. That’s another thing my sensei taught me when I was in training to become a shaolin monk.
AGENT: I’m pretty sure that never happened, either.
CAGE: Whatever you say, compadre!