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четверг, 1 декабря 2016 г.

Thanks to his wife Alice – and a deadly snake – Nicolas Cage is a changed man.

Hunky Nicolas Cage was once the wild man of Hollywood, with a string of divorces behind him and a battle with the booze.
But it wasn’t a concerned family member or friend who made him see he needed to change his ways – it was a venomous snake that tried to kill him.
“A cobra woke me up to the way my life was going,” admits Nicolas, 43. “I was in Africa doing a film and I was drinking a lot – I couldn’t get through the day without drinking.
“After a long day in the desert, a cobra approached the car that was taking me back to the hotel.
"I told my driver to stop so I could watch it. The cobra then attacked the car. It rose up, spewed venom all over the window and tried to break the glass to get me.
“That changed my outlook.
"I saw that life hangs by this tiny little thread. I still dream about that moment.”
By his own admission, Nick – who won an Oscar for his portrayal of a suicidal alcoholic in Leaving Las Vegas – has led a full, controversial life.
But while he was working non-stop and earning upwards of £5million per film, his love life was often shambolic.
He has a son, Wes, 16, from a long-term relationship with model Christina Fulton. He later went on to marry actress Patricia Arquette – their bitter divorce was followed by a brief marriage to Lisa Marie Presley, which also collapsed.
But three years ago he finally found happiness with Alice Kim, a waitress in a sushi restaurant he used to frequent.
Nick admits Alice, 23, has helped calm him, as has their 18-month-old son, Kal-El
(his distinctive moniker is the “real” name of comic-book character Superman).
“I’ve gone through some difficult times over the last few years, then things suddenly turned around when I met Alice,” he smiles.
“The fog just cleared away. She’s made me a better man by being who she is and getting me to stop flying off in all directions just because I’m some sort of strange celebrity. Life is a lot easier now.”
And he’s determined not to repeat the mistakes his parents made with him.
His father, August Coppola – brother of Godfather director Francis Ford – was a university professor and raised him while Nick’s mother Joy spent many years in and out of mental hospitals, battling depression.
It was a desire to step out from under his father’s shadow – and his fascination with his uncle Francis – that drew Nick to acting in the first place.
“I saw the kind of sports cars and glamour that came with my uncle’s life and I wanted to be a part of that,” he admits.
“My father was a very imposing, intimidating figure because of his huge intellect and learning. He’s very, very smart.
"So I was trying to figure out how I could aspire to be him. There’s an intimidating aura growing up with a university professor.
“That’s why I’ve always downplayed my own celebrity with my older son, Wes.
"And I’m going to do my best to make sure that Kal-El doesn’t feel threatened or overwhelmed in any way by his father’s strange life.
“But being with my son has taught me a lot about taking time to enjoy the simple joys that life offers. I want to be there for him and do my best to make his life beautiful.
“This is probably the first time in my life that I’ve felt so much at ease with everything.
“Alice has been a big part of that process too, and I’m very grateful to her.”
Nicolas’ new-found happiness can also be seen in his improved physique. The 6ft 1in star has lost more than 2st and added considerable muscle tone to a body that was showing creeping signs of middle age.
With the birth of his son in October 2005, Nick decided to turn over a new leaf and focus on fatherhood and fitness.
“I wanted to salute his arrival into the world by changing the way I lived. I wanted to cut the crap out of my life, eat healthily, and get into shape,” he explains.
Nick embarked on a ruthless fitness regime which saw him running 30 to 40 miles a week, eating a fish-based protein diet, and banishing the booze.
“I love running,” he smiles. “It gives me a very peaceful feeling inside where I am
really alone with my thoughts.
"I feel my heart pumping and my legs get into this rhythm – it’s really calming.”
But he denies his change of lifestyle was the result of a midlife crisis.
“No, no, no. I’ve never been bothered by age,” he says. “On the contrary, I feel I gained a lot of wisdom in my 30s and turned my life around when I stopped doing a lot of destructive things and became a more responsible adult. At least I’d like to think so.
“I’ve also had the huge advantage of finding the love of my life during this time in Alice, who is 20 years younger than me and therefore still has a very unfettered spirit.
"It’s an extraordinary twist of fate to be able to meet someone who’s able to brighten your world the way she’s been able to brighten mine.”
Luckily for Alice, Nick – who’s played a wide range of oddball characters in films like Face/Off, Wild At Heart and Lord Of War – no longer takes his characters home with him, which used to take its toll on his private life.
“It’s been a while now since I’ve let my characters devour me,” he admits.
“I’m a much happier guy than I used to be. I have a beautiful wife and we have a very good life together. It’s a nice feeling to be in a good place and not have demons crawling up the back of my subconscious.”
As much as he’s enjoying fame, Nick is fully aware of its pitfalls.
“When your job puts you in the public eye, your celebrity is an invitation for people to provoke you, like the guy in a bar who wants to make a name for himself by punching Nicolas Cage,” he says.
“That’s the side of being a celebrity which no one sees and probably couldn’t begin to understand.
“But you can’t cry about it because the public know you have a very comfortable life otherwise. So you learn to accept it. I learned to stay very cool and calm in public. I’m always excessively polite, even in the face of people who are sometimes not.
“I know that if it weren’t for my fans, I wouldn’t be here. And I appreciate that. I know what it’s like to meet someone that you admire and to be disappointed when they turn out to be a complete jerk.
"So I’m always happy to pose for photos with my fans, sign their pictures and give them my autograph.
"I want to do that and, luckily, I take great pleasure from it.”

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