"I'm able to express myself in the abstract and people are willing to go along for the ride, and I don't have to resort to shooting people."

Hitman, magician, treasure hunter, motorcycling superhero whose skull ignites into flames ... It's all in a year's work for Nicolas Cage, one of Hollywood's hardest working actors. Need proof? The Oscar winner has appeared in eight major releases in the past three years (among them the aforementioned 'Bangkok Dangerous,''Next,''National Treasure 2' and 'Ghost Rider') -- and has six more slated for 2009 alone.

The first in Cage's '09 sextet is the sci-fi-slanted disaster movie 'Knowing,' in which he adds "MIT astrophysicist" to his pretend CV. Cage's John Koestler begins to believe he's meant to save the world when he comes into possession of a cryptic scroll of numbers decoded to reveal dates for every major disaster on Earth in a 50-year span, concluding with doomsday. We picked Cage's brain about the appeal of mass destruction on the big screen, what he'd do different, knowing what he does now -- and if the guy ever sleeps.

categories Interviews