For the past few Januarys, the good folks at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin have thrown a celebration of cinema’s greatest living actor called CAGED, in which they screen a surprise selection of films starring Academy Award-winner Nicolas Cage back to back. Whether you fall into the so-bad-he’s-good camp or rightly recognize the Cage as a genuinely masterful and widely misunderstood thespian, it’s a roaring good time for all, with an open invitation extended to Cage so that he may come and receive happy birthday wishes. (The festival was specifically scheduled to fall in Cage’s birth month.) He’s never taken them up on the offer before, but this year was a little special.

2017’s proceedings marked the fourth and final iteration of the fan-favorite festival, and the Cage knew he had to prepare something befitting the occasion. The beloved actor didn’t just show up and sit with the crowd for Bangkok Dangerous, Joe, Bringing Out the Dead, Army of One and Lord of War (a selection of Cage classics he chose himself). He didn’t just stick around for a marathon 47-minute Q&A sesh, clad in a characteristically bombastic orange trenchcoat. Nic Cage knows that he’s only gotten where he is today because he knows how to make an impression, and so he did the only thing to do: he took the stage and, with no introduction whatsoever, began reading Edgar Allan Poe’s suspenseful short story The Tell-Tale Heart. That video has been embedded above, the Q&A is below.

Whether purchasing funeral pyramids or crashing his own dang film festival to school movie nerds about Gothic literature, nobody does it quite like the Cage.

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