In 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice,' Cage, as the wizard Balthazar, is joined by an illustrious cast, highlighted by Alfred Molina as his magical nemesis, Horvath, and Monica Bellucci as Veronica, the woman who creates the rift between the former best friends. But Cage's main foil in the film is rising star Jay Baruchel ('How to Train Your Dragon,' 'Tropic Thunder,') as Dave, the apprentice Balthazar has been searching for over many centuries. 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice' -- produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, the man responsible for the 'Beverly Hills Cop' and 'The Pirates of the Caribbean' franchises, among many other films and TV series -- is exactly the type of big summer blockbuster you'd expect. Full of magic, good vs. evil, romance, special effects and sly humor, it is a popcorn bonanza reteaming Bruckheimer and his 'National Treasure' series leading man Nicolas Cage.
In 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice,' Cage, as the wizard Balthazar, is joined by an illustrious cast, highlighted by Alfred Molina as his magical nemesis, Horvath, and Monica Bellucci as Veronica, the woman who creates the rift between the former best friends. But Cage's main foil in the film is rising star Jay Baruchel ('How to Train Your Dragon,' 'Tropic Thunder,') as Dave, the apprentice Balthazar has been searching for over many centuries.
Moviefone sat down with Cage and Baruchel at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills and we quickly found out that the stars' on-screen chemistry continued even after the cameras had stopped rolling. Joking and chatting together as if they'd been friends for decades, the pair filled us in on their on-set pranks, their goals for the film, and who would be the better magician in real life.
Jay, you were at the screening last night. How was it sitting in the audience and seeing it with fans?
Baruchel: For me, I was really, really nervous. At the same time, it's a huge cliché, but it was just magical. It was the first time I had seen it as well. And I got to see it with a lot of kids around the age of 10 there and I got to meet a bunch of them afterwards. And just seeing the looks on these little kids' faces, it was like they had just finished spending two hours in this magical world. It was a real treat, man. I so rarely get to see the look on kids' faces after they see a film. To see how psyched they were was a huge deal.
How important is it for you to be able to do a movie like this where you can take both your kids and friends?
Cage: Well, someone once said to me world peace begins at home. So in some small tiny little way the most meaningful movies I can make are the ones where parents can share them with their children and children can look forward to sharing them with their parents, a ritual if you will, where they get to spend time together and the kids are smiling. That means I have to make movies at a venue that are not gratuitously violent, that are not using bullets and bloodshed, but are using things like magic and fantasy and enchantment and the imagination. To me that's just all positive stuff. But I am eclectic and I still like to make movies for the midnight audience as well.
Jay, for you as well, you've done some other films that achieve a bit of that, but is this your most family-friendly film?
Baruchel: This or 'How to Train Your Dragon.' Those two are by far the most family-oriented kind of kids' flicks I've done.
Nic, you talked about parents watching movies with kids. In the notes you talk about 'Fantasia' being a favorite movie of all time. Is that one you've introduced your kids to?
Cage: Well, 'Fantasia' most definitely, yeah. And that's also the one that I watched as a boy, probably the first movie I ever saw. My parents would always take me to see it on Christmas Eve at midnight so I always fell asleep. And of course I still watch it whenever I want to fall asleep into la-la land -- I put 'Fantasia' on and watch the little characters dance around the mushrooms and what not, the colors, and of course classical music, and then before you know it I'm in bliss, sleepy little bliss land. ... But at the root of this, what I'm trying to say is, that 'Sorcerer's Apprentice,' and Balthazar in particular for me, is sort of coinciding with what I want to do as a social worker as well. The idea being that I want to try to apply my abilities sometimes to make families happy and that's what Balthazar's all about. He doesn't want to use the magic to get fat and luxuriate by the pool with a martini and sit at the best restaurant and dominate the world and be that dictator guy we all can't stand, he wants to be behind the scenes and use magic for the betterment of mankind. And that's sort of at the root of what I'm trying to kind of say right now.
Jay, what about your character was most representative of you? Are you a physics dude?
Baruchel: No, I am retarded when it comes to anything remotely mathematical. I guess where I come closest is I get to make out with pretty girls a lot. (They both crack up)
So, what you're saying is making out with girls like [co-star] Teresa Palmer is just common place for you?
Baruchel: It doesn't suck. I've been acting since I was 12, I'm 28 now.
Clearly you guys are having a lot of fun together. Was there a real sense of apprentice/mentor role in the filming?
Baruchel: There's definitely some of that. Like we spent six months living on top of each other every day.
Cage: I just remember hiding behind the video monitor with Jay, saying, "Are we in trouble again?"
Baruchel: Exactly, that was basically it. We looked sheepish a lot for six months.
Cage: Cause we were basically goofing off.
So you had that much fun on the film as well. But Nic, you've known both Jon [Turteltaub, director] and Jerry Bruckheimer for a long time. So did you ever actually get in trouble or were you safe because of the friendships?
Baruchel: No, there were times where Nic would do stuff and then we'd see a hubbub at the monitors and Nic would lean over to me, "I'm in trouble now, aren't I?" And there were plenty of times where that happened to me as well.
Nic, what was something that you did that created a hubbub?
Cage: Well, I would say things like, "Oh, I just need to remember to go and get your anti-itch cream," which then winds up in the movie apparently. You think they would have just a tad more faith that maybe Jay and I might have known what we were doing.
So that line got some laughs and also showed some of the humanity of the relationship between the two characters and that was improvised?
Cage: Yes, sir.
Baruchel: Yes it was.
Who would be a better magician between the two of you?
Baruchel: The better magician, I'll say this, Nic wears rings the whole movie. I eventually don't need one, so you do the math.
Nic, are you gonna take that from him?
Cage: I've survived in Hollywood for 30 years, you figure it out (they both crack up again).