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Nic Cage delivered the most wholesome answers during an extremely rare fan Q&A

John Travolta as Nic Cage for the Reddit AMA.

Nic Cage’s acting career has been as wild and crazy as his most notable roles. From action hero, to Oscar winner, to countless memes and now … pulling a full-blown John Malkovich by playing himself in a bizarre meta-comedy for Lionsgate called “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.” At this point he is simply a fixed point in pop culture.

But now he can add a new status: beloved Reddit star.

Cage had recently participated in a Reddit: Ask Me Anything, and his wholesome responses have struck a chord with both fans—he prefers to call them “loyal film enthusiasts”—and critics alike. Like most of the things he does, it’s become a bona fide moment.

One person wrote, “I didn't really know much about Nic Cage before the AMA honestly, but I walked about from it thinking how insightful and genuine he seemed. I have a lot more respect for him now (not that I didn't before, I just thought he came across as a really sincere person). He seems like a really good dude on top of everything else. It was a REALLY good AMA."

Here are some of the best insights:


For one thing, the guy is truly an artist, with a genuine love for his craft. He’s studied Kabuki performance, for crying out loud—core curriculum for a theater nerd.

Just read his thoughtful response to a compliment on his performance in the movie “Pig,” which tells the story of a lonely truffle hunter who leaves his wilderness home in Oregon in search of his beloved foraging hog.

via GIPHY

‘Pig’ was an absolutely incredible film, what drew you to that project, and why do you think that it struck a chord with so many people?” — speakerboxxed

Thank you. I was interested in returning to a more quiet, naturalistic style of film performance, having done a series of more operatic performance styles. The movie feels rather like a folk song to me or a poem, and the character of Rob was contending with tremendous grief and self imposed isolation and I think we as a group of people experiencing a pandemic in 2020-21 we’re probably also having similar feelings of loss and isolation and it communicated to a nerve we were all experiencing. It's one of my favorite movies, and it's probably my best work.” — N.C.

“Pig” turned out to be one of the three films Nicolas Cage would choose to be preserved for posterity, along with “Bringing Out the Dead” and “Leaving Las Vegas.”

He also doesn’t take his success for granted.

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When asked which of his movie quotes he hated the most when heard in public, the actor simply responded:

I don’t have a problem with any of the quotes. I’m glad they remember the movie.” — N.C.

Though we’ve seen him play a face-swapping terrorist, a treasure-hunting historian and a charming arms dealer, Nic Cage really just wants to play a sea captain. And not just any sea caption, but Captain Nemo from Jules Verne’s classic novels.

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Why? “Because of the character’s love of the ocean that I share with him,” Cage wrote.

There were a few really fun behind-the-scenes bits of trivia. For instance, ever wonder what happened to that iconic snakeskin jacket from “Wild At Heart?”

Well, according to Cage, his co-star Laura Dern has it.

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[Laura] was such an enormous part of Wild at Heart that I felt it belonged to her. But now I wish I had given it to my son instead. I would've liked him to have it. But it's okay, Laura has it.” — N.C.

Of course, though many questions were craft and career related, a few mundane inquiries stuck out, such as:

What’s your favorite pasta shape?” — JaggedOnomatomania

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Answer: A rare “square tube pasta” only seen once at an Italian restaurant in San Francisco 25 years ago.

Not everyone can make pasta sound fascinating. But Cage did.

When asked what Cage’s favorite non-work-related hobbies were, he replied that, where everything ultimately informs his works (again, a true thespian!) he does enjoy reading, watching cinema and exercise.

The guy’s also a romantic. He shared a story about spending $2000 (a gift from grandma, no less) on his prom date. Chauffeur-driven limo, tux, four-course meal, the works. According to Cage it was “money well spent.”

Lastly, when it comes to his favorite movies, none of them are movies he’s worked on. That honor goes to "Apocalypse Now" and "Spirited Away."

The AMA turned out to be a lovely event for everyone involved. Including Cage, who said in his follow up interview:

That was the highlight of my day. We did it together, and I thought it was a terrific interview. With all the folks that asked me questions, they were really great questions, really thoughtful, and I was deeply touched."

Perhaps massive talent isn’t so unbearable after all. Especially when handled with humor and grace.

If you haven't seen the trailer for Cage’s new movie yet, you can do so below. Buckle up.

And by the way, in case anyone is wondering: yes, he would "gladly" do "Face Off 2."

Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

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Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

via Dion Merrick / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.09.21


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Nurse turns inappropriate things men say in the delivery room into ‘inspirational’ art

"Can you move to the birthing ball so I can sleep in the bed?"

Holly the delivery nurse.

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Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

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