EXCLUSIVE: Gifts from Ozzy Osbourne, dinner with Jim Carrey and jet-setting to film sets with dad Nic: Weston Cage Coppola opens up about being raised among Hollywood royalty and why he once considered changing his famous name
- Weston Cage Coppola spoke at length about his famous family and burgeoning career as an actor in an interview with DailyMailTV
- The 28-year-old son of Nicolas Cage and Christina Fulton, said stars Ozzy Osbourne, Jim Carrey, and Cary Elwes were regulars at the dinner table
- ‘Ozzy gave me the Bark at the Moon action figure of him [from his third album] during one dinner,’ Weston told DailyMailTV
- Weston’s great-uncle is the legendary director Francis Ford Coppola
- But he admitted there is a dark side to fame that led him to want to change his last name
- Weston landed his first lead role Lt Col James Earl Rudder in new World War II film, D-Day, released last week
- He appeared with his dad, 55, and co-star Laurence Fishburne, the following night at the premiere of Cage’s latest movie, Running with the Devil
Weston Cage Coppola has opened up about the highs – and lows – that come with living in a family of Hollywood royalty, in an exclusive interview with DailyMailTV.
Weston, the eldest son of Oscar-winning actor Nicolas Cage, shared intimate details of his ‘itinerant’ childhood being raised on his father’s movie sets around the world and how celebrities like Jim Carrey, Ozzy Osbourne and Cary Elwes were regulars at the dinner table.
The 28-year-old, whose great-uncle in the legendary director Francis Ford Coppola, spoke at length about his famous family and burgeoning career following the release of his new movie, D-Day, a World War 2 epic, which saw him land his first lead role.
In D-Day, released earlier this month to mark D-Day’s 75th anniversary, Weston plays Lt. Col James Earl Rudder, a real-life war hero, who led American rangers at the Pointe du Hoc battle during the Invasion of Normandy in 1944.
The battalion of Army rangers scaled 100ft cliffs to secure a key Nazi position for the Allies during a mission where half of their men were killed.
Growing up Coppola: Weston Coppola Cage has opened up on his Hollywood royalty roots in an exclusive interview with DailyMailTV
Family support: The 28-year-old was accompanied by his father for the premiere of his new film D-Day last week in which he stars in his first lead role. In turn, Weston walked alongside his dad at the premiere of Cage’s new film Running with The Devil (pictured)
‘It was a tremendous honor to play him. I think it’s important to tell these stories because it’s the history of how many people have been valorous and sacrificial for the greater good. It’s something that we should always be thankful for,’ Weston said.
Weston was supported on the red carpet at the LA premiere last Sunday by his father. In turn, he appeared with his dad, 55, and co-star Laurence Fishburne, the following night at the premiere of Cage’s latest movie, Running with the Devil.
Not surprisingly, it is Cage, who won an Oscar for Best Actor in 1996 for his role in Leaving Las Vegas, who he turns to first for acting tips.
‘My father introduced me to the importance of the many intricacies in acting, the dynamics of it. The importance of delivery, character background study and research.
‘The best acting advice I’ve received is from my father. He told me about the importance of utilizing your imagination, your expressions and voice – a homeostasis of all those things together to really express your character’s desires.’
He told DailyMailTV at his opening night premiere, that he would love to star alongside his father. He previously had a small role in his father’s 2005 movie, Lord of War.
‘I would really love to be on a TV series with my father. That’s something we’ve always liked to do together. It would be such a beautiful moment for us to have together at least for a couple of years. And also then doing films in between that – meaningful films that really mean a lot to a lot of people, change people’s minds about stuff, inspire them. I love doing that kind of work.
Weston is the son of Nicolas Cage and ex-girlfriend Christina Fulton (pictured right in 1988) The two split after he was born
The son of the Oscar-winning actor spoke at length about his famous family and burgeoning career. He is pictured above with his wife Hila (left) and mom Christina
‘But that’s definitely something I’d love to do is maybe a western, or a crime drama with my dad. Maybe he’s the old veteran, I’m the young rookie, we butt heads all the time. That would be such a dream come true and if that happens, then God is shining on me,’ he said.
Weston Cage Coppola was born in December 1990 to Cage and girlfriend Christina Fulton, who starred in Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Snake Eyes alongside Cage. (The couple separated after Weston was born).
Weston grew up during a blockbuster period for Cage when he was making some of his biggest box office hits – Con Air, Face/Off and Snake Eyes.
At home in Los Angeles, it was common for Ozzy Osbourne, Jim Carrey and Cary Elwes [star of Liar, Liar, Twister, The Princess Bride and most recently Stranger Things] to stop by.
‘Ozzy gave me the Bark at the Moon action figure of him [from his third album] during one dinner,’ Weston said. ‘Another time, he rented out an arcade for all these kids with unlimited game play and I was lucky enough to be one of them.
‘Cary would always come over and Jim Carrey. The conversations were very passionate and entertaining.’
Weston said that Ace Ventura star was more ‘introspective’ when one-on-one but has ‘a contagious energy’.
When the family wasn’t at home in LA, Weston was jet-setting with his dad to film sets around the world. In particular, being on the set of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin with his father, which also starred Penelope Cruz, Christian Bale and John Hurt, around the age of ten, made a huge impression on him.
Weston grew up rubbing elbows with celebrities thanks to his acting family. Above he is pictured as a teen with his dad alongside Dennis Hopper (far left), Samantha Morton, Wim Wenders, and the late George Romero
As the son of Nicolas Cage, visiting film sets and premiere was a regular thing for Weston. Above he is pictured with his dad and his ex-wife Alice Kim, at the red carpet premiere for National Treasure in 2004
Hollywood royalty: Weston’s great-uncle Francis Ford Coppola (far right) has made some of the most critically-acclaimed movies of all time including the Godfather trilogy. His aunt, Sofia Coppola (center) took home an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the 2003 movie, Lost in Translation
The actor reflected on being raised on his father’s movie sets around the world and how celebrities like Jim Carrey, Ozzy Osbourne and Cary Elwes were regulars at the dinner table
‘It was a very itinerant lifestyle,’ Weston said. ‘I got to experience all those adventures and it helped me understand the world. Greece was an enormously powerful experience for me.
‘I spent most of my time swimming in the ocean but when my dad had breaks in filming, we went parasailing and did some fishing.
‘I don’t think my dad was there for this but my mom and I got involved in a food fight in a restaurant when we were there. It was a really traditional celebration, throwing olives, it was pretty hilarious.’
‘We would spend time on set and off set. Whenever my dad was doing scenes, he would invite me to come see him work, to gather information and to be a part of that. He has that mechanism to where he can switch on his character and come out [of it].’
Weston says that when he was on set, he would spend time imagining being part of the action.
‘Whenever I was on a set, I would leave the trailer and pretend I was making my own movie.
‘When I was eight, my dad was shooting Snake Eyes and there was a scene with a boxing ring. It was a very long shoot and during a break in filming, I decided to get in the ring with one of the stunt guys and do some stage combat with about 100 people, who were extras on the movie, watching. I just loved entertaining people.
‘Whenever we traveled, a tutor would come with me and I managed to get my homework done.
Weston has had a music career too and was previously the lead singer in a black metal band, Eyes of Noctum. Pictured at the 5th annual Vegas Rocks! Magazine Music Awards in 2014
He also talked about how Ozzy Osbourne, who he said he channeled as a singer, once gave him a Bark at the Moon action figure of the rockstar at dinner
Weston says he doesn’t see a return to black metal in his future. He is pictured above with band Dimmu Borgir whose lead singer Shagrath (far left) was once engaged to his mom
‘I was also getting to study my passion because I knew at that time I was going to be an actor.’
Other family vacations centered around historical day trips for which Weston and his father have a shared passion.
‘We went to the Abbey in Glastonbury on a family trip. There’s a lot of Arthurian mythology in that area and we bonded over that,’ he said.
‘We would see theater together. I went to Prague when I was a child to work on my first motion picture, Lord of War. My dad and I went to a traditional Czech puppet show, it was such a fascinating thing to watch. You could tell how old it was.’
Historical artifacts also mean a lot in the Cage Coppola clan.
‘I have a few family heirlooms. I have paperwork from 1860, of Giuseppe Garibaldi, that proves that one of my relatives came to America during the Civil War to fight against slavery.
‘He was on the union side and he was drafted from Italy. I have it hanging on the wall. It was given to me by my grandfather, August Coppola.
‘I also have Japanese swords that my father bought on a family trip to Kyoto in Japan and gave to me.
‘I have always loved Japanese philosophy and martial arts. He wanted me to keep them in the family as they represent discipline and honor. It’s something I’m going to pass down to my children.’
Coppola is now an actor in his own right, after landing his first lead role in D-Day
Weston recalls it being astonishing seeing his dad on the big screen when he was young and Cage’s 1997 movie Face/Off, co-starring John Travolta, remains his favorite. Travolta stars as an FBI agent and Cage as a terrorist who switch identities.
‘It’s because of the dichotomy and juxtaposition that he ventured into playing both these characters, both the antagonist and the protagonist at the same time. It’s a very unique story and it shows how dynamic he is as an actor,’ he said.
‘I love seeing my dad perform because it’s his passion. He’s enriched so many people’s lives and inspired so many people.’
Weston says that the director, John Woo, was particularly kind to him on the set of Face/Off.
He remains circumspect about whether he found it difficult growing up with the attention surrounding his father. ‘I guess the amount of people that come up for autographs and stuff like that. They are all supporters, you know, so we appreciate them,’ he said.
When he wasn’t on the road with his dad, Weston attended Beverly Hills High School.
‘My acting and musical ability presented itself when I was around three years old. My parents started noticing that it was part of my nature.
‘As I got older when company would come over, I would create plays and get my friends to improvise with video cameras and stage blood. I remember once Cary Elwes coming over for dinner and enjoying one of my performances with a bunch of friends.
‘Their parents would come to pick them up and be horrified that we were all covered in this stage blood.’
Released earlier this month to mark D-Day’s 75th anniversary, Weston plays Lt. Col James Earl Rudder, a real-life war hero, who led American rangers at the Pointe du Hoc battle during the Invasion of Normandy in 1944
Weston (pictured in the film) told DailyMailTV it was ‘a tremendous honor’ to play him
The couple wrapped filming last year on another project, Freak Power, Battle For Aspen, a prequel to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, about journalist Hunter S. Thompson’s political campaign to become Sheriff of Pitkin County, Colorado
One willing participant was Weston’s best friend, Jesse Kove, who starred alongside him in D-Day. Jesse’s father, Martin Kove, is best remembered for playing Kobra Kai in the 80s movie, Karate Kid.
Weston said: ‘Jesse and I met in drama lab, we went to school together. One of our first plays that we did together, Inherit the Wind, that is where our brotherhood blossomed.’
Weston’s parents encouraged his talent, enrolling him in the Youth Academy for Dramatic Arts in LA and nurturing his interest in playing guitar and piano. He went to study at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting.
And there was more than one Oscar winner in the family to turn to for advice. His great-uncle Francis Ford Coppola has made some of the most critically-acclaimed movies of all time including the Godfather trilogy and Apocalypse Now.
‘The Godfather is one of the absolute ultimate movies, that’s for sure,’ Weston said.
His aunt, Sofia Coppola, took home an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the 2003 movie, Lost in Translation, starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johannson.
She was the first woman ever to be nominated for Best Director. His great-aunt, Talia Shire, is also an actor, along with uncle, Jason Schwartzman and cousin, Gia Coppola.
In such esteemed company, Weston says he focuses on carving out his own path.
‘I believe it’s important for every individual to connect with themselves and to understand their purpose and nature. That’s how you carve out that path and after that you implement every necessary step that you need to take in order to reach the next level,’ he said.
His family have also imparted a few words of warning to Weston about the darker side of Hollywood.
‘I definitely received a lot of caveats. My relatives wanted me to be prepared, to be circumspect and really stay connected with your morals, principles and integrity,’ he said.
‘Definitely there’s a downside. We have this spectrum of privilege – extreme wealth to destitution. The negative aspects are very extreme in both regards. With coming from fame, there’s a possibility of having to deal with people that are deranged and obsessed.
‘Then also you have a lot of artificial people that come into your life and have a different agenda, bad intentions.
‘There’s a paranoia that can be in that world. And then also there’s no privacy.’
In 2011, Nicolas Cage and his wife, Alice Kim, along with Weston’s two-year-old half-brother, Kal-El, faced a terrifying home invasion.
At the time, Cage told Reuters: ‘It was two in the morning. I was living in Orange County at the time and was asleep with my wife. My two-year old at the time was in another room. I opened my eyes and there was a naked man wearing my leather jacket eating a Fudgesicle in front of my bed. I know it sounds funny … but it was horrifying.’
The dark side of fame is also a lesson that Weston has learned from painful personal experience. In 2017, he pleaded no contest to a DUI and has battled substance abuse. He reflected on growing up with the celebrity attention encapsulating his father’s career.
‘Especially when someone is under 18 and they’re going through phases of self-discovery, they can’t make mistakes without it becoming public knowledge. And it’s not all accurate too. It’s worse, than say, a school rumor,’ he says.
At one point, the 28-year-old even considered changing his name; ‘but I didn’t do it to keep my ancestry intact and connected’.
In his early twenties, he shied away from acting and was the lead singer in a black metal band, Eyes of Noctum.
‘I felt that black metal was the best vehicle for the emotional magnitude that I was feeling at the time,’ Weston said. ‘Some of black metal is very aimless and for shock value but the bands that talk about transcendence and illumination are quite fine artists. They bring you to a place of personal empowerment.’
Weston said his early memories of Ozzy Osbourne came back to him, ‘and I would channel him quite a bit.’
Weston recalls it being astonishing seeing his dad on the big screen when he was young and Cage’s 1997 movie Face/Off, co-starring John Travolta, remains his favorite
Travolta stars as an FBI agent and Cage as a terrorist who switch identities
His foray into the black metal scene included a few colorful experiences.
‘I think it enriched me as an artist but it took me to some interesting places. Those venues were intense. In one, there was a guy who specifically liked to attack vocalists. And I was the vocalist, so I was just waiting for this guy to attack me. But it definitely added a lot of experience to my life.’
Weston doesn’t see a return to black metal in his future.
‘I think that’s a temporary place where you can gather a lot of wisdom but there’s no point in staying in that. It would be like staying in an Ayahuasca trip forever – at some point you gotta come out.’
Weston also grew up with a passion for martial arts, starting off with Tae Kwon Do and branching out into a Russian martial art, Sambo.
‘Sambo is an amalgamation of many different forms – it’s judo and jiu-jitsu based but mixed with a Russian martial art called Systema that was used by Cossack warriors. It also incorporated martial arts of the Soviet Union, Armenian and Georgian style wrestling. It’s very intense.
‘There were about three times when I was ready to sign a document to go compete in MMA. I had a very successful bout in wrestling. But my brother in law, Elon, he stopped me from signing with Bellator [one of the world’s largest MMA promoters]. That was the perfect example of family looking out for each other because he knew that it wasn’t my true purpose.’
Weston said he would still like to explore martial arts through playing real-life fighters.
‘There was a martial artist in the UFC in the early ages, Dan Severn, known as “The Beast”. He always had this mustache and nice hairdo. When you look at MMA records, people have about 40-50 fights at most.
‘This guy’s been in about 119 fights and he even fought as an older man in his 50s. There’s something about him I really love.’
Weston says he often weighs up the positives and negatives of his famous name – whether it’s assumptions that are made about him or the heavy expectations that one might expect in a family with a full trophy cabinet.
‘I’ve detached myself from the struggles and the self-created pressure that I felt existed. It’s almost like resistance training in a way,’ he says. ‘[My name] definitely makes a lot of people develop assumptions about me. People are expecting that I’m going to be a brat or superficial and then I talk to them and see that melt away. It’s very fascinating. It’s an experiment. I love it.’
He admits Hollywood is full of walking examples of the perils of trading on a famous name alone.
‘I definitely didn’t get addicted to that life but some people can, absolutely. When you’re born into that, there are two avenues – a person could get addicted to going to the nightclubs and utilizing their name for the privileges. Or it can bring you to a place of deeper meaning. I enjoy socializing and going out but celebrating art and the things that matter in life.’
He went on: ‘The way I look at it now is all the information online about me is a dark spectrum. I dedicate that to anyone that doesn’t believe that they can overcome odds.
‘I believe that the tumultuous times in my past brought me to a state where I needed to connect with the universe and access my higher self. I’ve grown through reaching the point to where depression or any kind of trauma breaks you down. It let out my essence in a way. I found true love and I am walking on the faith that I was meant for.’
That true love is Hila Aronian – a 29-year-old entrepreneur and producer, who is launching an event in LA next year, Bar Week.
Their meeting has a rom-com feel to it – Weston spotted Hila by chance after seeing her on an LA street when she stepped out of a meeting to put change in the parking meter.
They married in April 2018 on the estate of Hila’s aunt and uncle in Canyon County, California.
The bohemian affair saw them exchange vows outdoors in front of the Coppola clan. Guests enjoyed sushi, hookahs and wine from his uncle’s Napa vineyard while being entertained by belly dancers and tarot card readers.
Weston said: ‘My number one mentor is my wife Hila. She’s unlocked my ability to truly feel and to know love and compassion on another level.’
The actor has two sons, Lucian and Sorin, with ex-wife Danielle and was also previously married to musician Nikki Williams
Weston married third wife Hila Aronian – a 29-year-old entrepreneur and producer in April 2018 on the estate of Hila’s aunt and uncle in Canyon County, California
The actor has two sons, Lucian and Sorin, with ex-wife Danielle and was also previously married to musician Nikki Williams.
The Coppola family is a tight-knit one, Weston says, and his father was keen for his to connect with his Italian roots as a child and had him tutored in the language.
‘My dad wanted to preserve that. I can get by in Italian to the point of being sociable and polite,’ Weston said.
‘My ancestry goes very far back on my father’s side to Italy and Greece. There’s an amazing story there of how the Coppolas were connected with the Visconti family and the Medicis. They were a very powerful family and militant in a way too.’
Weston and Hila joined the rest of the Coppola family and friends like Robert De Niro, George Lucas and Laurence Fishburne to celebrate his great-uncle Francis Ford Coppola’s 80th birthday in April at his Napa Valley vineyard in California.
‘It was a three-day celebration. On one of the days, a small group of very close family and friends watched a remastered version of The Cotton Club.
‘We have a enormous dinner for around 300 people which featured Italian dishes from the region that the Coppolas come from [the family’s ancestral home is Bernalda in the Southern Italian region of Basilicata, three hours south of Naples].
Weston said: ‘My number one mentor is my wife Hila. She’s unlocked my ability to truly feel and to know love and compassion on another level’
‘We had this traditional Italian meal with dishes like lamb’s head, pasta al pomodoro, a huge antipasto plate with prosciutto, all sorts of meats and olives. I believe a chef had flown in especially from Italy to create the meal.
‘There was a live band playing traditional Italian songs and with a Big Band feel.
‘Francis sang to his wife Eleanor at the dinner, it was beautiful.
‘My great-uncle, Anton, who is 103 years old was there [Anton Coppola scored Bram Stoker’s Dracula]. He’s still very healthy, physically and mentally.
‘There was a nice lunchtime buffet before the big birthday dinner. There was craps, blackjack and poker tables not for money, just for fun.
‘Hila and I always get together with her side of the family on Jewish holidays. I’m always honored to be there, to make this one giant family tree that we are now.’
‘I believe family is first, most definitely,’ he added.
The couple wrapped filming last year on another project, Freak Power, Battle For Aspen, a prequel to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, about journalist Hunter S. Thompson’s political campaign to become Sheriff of Pitkin County, Colorado.
The movie was directed by Bobby Kennedy III, the grandson of Senator Robert F. Kennedy. Irish actor Jay Bulger plays Hunter and Weston took on the role of Skip Workman, one of the original Oakland Hell’s Angels, best known for confronting Thompson on TV over his book about the motorcycle gang, which Workman dubbed ’60 per cent cheap trash’.
Weston said: ‘Bobby Kennedy wrote and directed, he was very energetic and passionate. One of the producers involved had previously worked on Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Hila was an associate producer. Skip is so unapologetically himself, he almost has a Viking feel to him.’
When it came to motorcycle tips, Weston turned to his wife, who has a Kawasaki Ninja in the garage at home. ‘I don’t ride as well as my wife. She’s the expert. She gave me some advice and tuned me up a bit, so when I got on the bike in a scene, it came natural.’
The couple are soon off to Mauritius to film a new movie, MR-9, with Mickey Rourke. The co-stars will play father and son in the thriller based on the novels of Bangladeshi writer Qazi Anwar Hussain, a James Bond-esque series of more than 400 books which have sold millions of copies worldwide.
‘It’s a futuristic action film, very high tech. It’s going to be captivating,’ Weston said.
‘Mickey Rourke is a very deep person and I can’t wait to work with him. He’s also got one of the most legendary left hooks in the world on him. If he wanted to spar just to develop the characters, I’d be interested.’
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