How did you get involved in “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” and what drew you to the script?
I actually auditioned the first day. I live in New York. The first day that we went into lockdown in March of 2020 was my first audition, and I didn’t hear anything. I loved the script. It was very Charlie Kaufman, hyper-reality, dark comedy, which is all the stuff that I love, and I love Nic Cage. I thought “Oh my god. Of course I’m going to audition for this.”
Then, I didn’t hear anything. I thought “Ah, well, they gave it to someone else.” I finally heard back in August  — they wanted to see me again. I went through a few more auditions, and then I got it. The entire way, I felt like, “This is going to be the last of it. I’m not going to get better than this.” Then, it really happened.
It genuinely didn’t feel like a real situation until I got to the set. It was amazing. I’ve been obsessed with Nic as an actor and as a man. I’ve been, “The man, the myth, the legend,” forever. I had done that whole “Caging” thing, putting pictures on people’s lockers in school. It felt like I weirdly manifested. It was insane. It’s so exciting. It still feels insane.
Nicolas Cage plays your dad in the film. What was that like, and did he give you much advice along the way?
Yes. This is my first real adult movie role, and I was very nervous — incredibly nervous. I wanted everyone to like me and to take me seriously and all that. I had a whole plan of how I was going to act on set. He was immediately incredibly warm and incredibly inviting. Because he is a dad, he has that great dad energy. I know he’s having a new baby now — I think he’s having a daughter — which will be great because he was fantastic with me.
We had a really similar interest. I’m really into horror, and he’s really into horror and very niche interests that I didn’t expect from him at all. He was incredibly forthcoming, which I didn’t expect. I thought, “He’s Nic Cage, he’s not going to give me the time of day.” But he was really sweet. I was trying to absorb as much of his Cage essence as possible. He was great about that.