Photo: Bob Levey (Getty Images)

Ethan Hawke is having a busy year: He recently starred in Paul Schrader’s religious drama First Reformed, and just put his fourth directorial feature—the outlaw country remembrance Blaze—into theaters. And yet, we have to remind ourselves that, even in the most hectic of times, there is never such a thing as being too busy to celebrate the thing that really matters most in life: Nicolas Cage.

As it happens, Hawke is a long-time admirer of cinema’s most celebrated castle-owner, having gone on the record during an AMA back in 2013 about his appreciation for the bee-bedeviled thespian. Now, we’re happy to report that that passion for Cage’s expressionistic approach to acting hasn’t dimmed in the least in the intervening five years, with Hawke taking time out of a recent Newsweek interview to pay tribute to his hero.

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“I think Nicolas Cage is one of the few people in the history of acting that has really changed [the form],” Hawke told the magazine this week. 

I mean, he’s a true original—one of the greatest actors ever. His confidence and madness and dedication—you take his top 10 performances and I’d put ‘em up against anybody. And they’re revelatory! You know, [Konstantin] Stanislavski came up with this idea of naturalism and pursuing life as it is, moving away from a more performance-oriented Shakespearean style of singing roles. Brando and Lee Strasberg and the Group Theatre and all these people push it forward. Gene Hackman and De Niro and Meryl Streep—we’ve all been dutifully falling in line. Except for Nic Cage. He’s doing something else!

Hawke went on to highlight the one time he and his “mysterious” idol have worked together—2005's gun-running drama Lord Of War—and mentioned that he was unable to keep his fanboyism in check. “I told him to his face,” Hawke said, adding, “I don’t know if he knew what to make out of me.” Dear time travelers: Please do us a favor and put that meeting on your list of things to go back and get video of; we’d really like to have a clip of Nicolas Cage being made to feel weirded out and awkward by someone else, for a change.

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