Nicolas Cage baffled ‘Kick-Ass’ costars with his ad-libbed Adam West imitation

April 18, 2010 | 8:02 p.m.

Big Daddy and Hit Girl


Kick-Ass” has given Nicolas Cage one of the quirkier films roles of his career — and that’s saying something — but the 46-year-old actor brought plenty of his own to the part of Big Daddy, including the idea of imitating Adam West and his stiff, staccato version of superhero speak.

Cage plays a revenge-crazed ex-cop whose life is destroyed when a local crime lord frames him for a crime that leads to hard time. After his release from the penitentiary, he dons a mask and costume and goes after the mob boss with a young sidekick — Hit Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz), a sweet-looking 11-year-old who talks like a longshoreman and fights like a ninja.

Adam West as Batman

Cage arrived on the set of “Kick-Ass” with a plan to imitate the kooky diction of West, the star of “Batman,” the ABC series that practically defined 1960s camp. But he didn’t bother to tell anyone before the cameras started rolling, which left director Matthew Vaughn, Moretz and costar Aaron Johnson momentarily baffled.

“It was totally his idea. and I didn’t know it was coming,” Vaughn said. “The first day around, he started in with that and I’m thinking, ‘This guy can’t act!’ What the hell is happening? I started freaking out. And after about 30 seconds, the panic in my brain calmed down, and I realized exactly what he was doing.”

The 39-year-old Vaughn grew up with reruns of the old Gotham City farce, of course, but the same could not be said of the younger members of his cast.

“Poor Chloë and Aaron are looking at me. … So I say, ‘OK, get it, Nic. I get what you’re doing, brilliant idea, continue.’ Then of course I had to explain it all to Chloë who of course had no idea who Adam West was. I think they all thought Nic was just nuts and, you know, that’s not so bad for the movie.”

— Geoff Boucher


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Photos: “Kick-Ass” images. Credit: Lionsgate. Adam West as Batman. Credit: Los Angeles Times


10 Responses to Nicolas Cage baffled ‘Kick-Ass’ costars with his ad-libbed Adam West imitation

  1. Aaron C says:

    Nic's best role since "Adaptation"

  2. C. Smith says:

    Cage and Moretz where Great. I hope they make a “Big Daddy and Hit Girl” prequel.

  3. Danny says:

    He IS nuts!

  4. pat says:

    congrats, all this controversy is just gonna give this movie more publicity

  5. What a fun movie this turned out to be.

  6. Red says:

    Cage is by far the best thing about the film.

  7. Dave says:

    Cage as Big-Daddy in the warehouse scene is the most stunning cinematic treat in recent memory. The precise and calculating perfection of each confrontation just hammers home how psycho and determined Macready was to get his revenge. I played that scene ten times over in a row just to try and take it all in. The scene where Big Daddy is training his daughter in the use of a bullet proof vest is insane enough, but add in the actors pedestrian father-daughter banter and it makes for a purely psychotic moment. Priceless!

    To get such rave reviews for such a tricky movie with a contraversial young character (Hit Girl) speaks to the incredible direction by Vaughn. Can't wait to see more of his work!

    • Guido Merkens says:

      Any time a director identifies his film as a parody, that's code for "lazy knock-off of better movies." Kick-Ass fits the bill. It is much more difficult to make serious super-hero flicks (see: Iron Man 1 and Dark Knight) than an "ironic" one. I, for one, was glad Kick-Ass tanked. Lazy-Ass is more like it.

      • Henry says:

        the movie didn't tank dude. Maybe you should get your facts straight before talking nonsene. Also, in the second half it becomes its own superhero movie … one of the best ever made in fact and certainly superior to iron man 2.

  8. Marty says:

    He wasn't "acting".

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