Wed, Dec 15, 2004 - Page 14 News List

Cage and his retinue roll into town

The Hollywood actor turned up in Taiwan to plug his new movie and wow his fans, who queued up to greet him at the airport

STAFF WRITER, WITH NY TIMES NEWS SERVICE

Nicolas Cage shakes hands with fans shortly after arriving at Chiang Kai-shek International Airport yesterday.

PHOTO: AFP

At 3:30pm yesterday, Nicholas Cage arrived in Taiwan with an entourage of 25, including his new wife Alice, to promote his new film National Treasure, which will premiere in Taiwan today.

Cage, who has just visited South Korea to promote the film, was unruffled by Taipei's notorious press pack and spent time shaking hands and signing autographs as he worked his way through the airport.

Traveling with Cage was the leading lady of National Treasure Diane Kruger, supporting actor Justin Bartha, as well as the mega producer Jerry Bruckheimer.

Cage is staying at the most expensive hotel room in Taipei at the Hyatt in downtown Taipei for NT$880,000 a night and 150 security staff were mobilized at the airport to ensure the safety of the star.

Today Cage will be attending a press conference for his film at the Hyatt Hotel before heading down to Warner Village for the premiere screening and to be seen by his fans.

Whil National Treasure may not resemble the current state of slam-bang action movies, it's anything but boring. Cage plays Benjamin Franklin Gates, who like many of his forebears, is obsessed with finding a legendary treasure gathered during the Crusades by the Knights Templar, secretly guarded through the centuries by Freemasons and supposedly hidden by the leaders of the American Revolution. Clues to its location appear on our currency, at landmark sites and in important documents of the era -- including on the back of the Declaration of Independence, which for various plot reasons Gates is reluctantly forced to steal.

Arcane historical facts mingle with convoluted clues as Gates and his associates try to beat an evil British billionaire to the trove -- with, of course, the feds hot on his heels to get their priceless document back

"It was a surprisingly difficult job," says Cage, even though it might not look that way compared to the more obvious challenges of Adaptation's reality-bending twin act or Matchstick Men's obsessive-compulsive con man.

"One of the challenges was to memorize dialogue that seemed like incomprehensible gobbledygook about clues and riddles and puzzles. So I was doing it by rote until I could kind of understand what I was talking about. It was like trying to learn a language, and hopefully make it understandable to the audience."

Cage will be leaving Taiwan tomorrow.

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