"That was the time when I almost went on -- you might call it a grail quest," the actor explained. "It was almost like 'National Treasure.'"
It looks like Nicolas Cage is more like Ben Gates than we thought.
In a wide-ranging interview with The New York Times Wednesday, the actor revealed that he once went searching for the Holy Grail, not unlike his Declaration of Independence-stealing character from the 2004 action-adventure film "National Treasure."
"I went years where all I was doing was meditating three times a day and reading books on philosophy, not drinking whatsoever," Cage recalled. "That was the time when I almost went on -- you might call it a grail quest. I started following mythology and I was finding properties that aligned with that. It was almost like 'National Treasure.'"
He continued, "It's like when you build a library. You read a book, and in it there's a reference to another book, and then you buy that book, and then you attach the references. For me it was all about where was the grail? Is it at Glastonbury? Does it exist?"
When the reporter admitted he thought Cage was being "metaphorical" about his quest, the "Mandy" actor went into more detail, proving he was, in fact, completely serious.
"Yeah, if you go to Glastonbury and go to the Chalice Well, there's a spring that does taste like blood," Cage said. "I guess it's really because there's a lot of iron in the water. But legend had it that in that place was a grail chalice, or two cruets rather, one of blood and one of sweat. But that led to there being talk that people had come to Rhode Island, and they were looking for something as well."
However, while exploring England, Cage eventually learned his search for the Holy Grail was more metaphorical.
"What I ultimately found is: What is the Grail but Earth itself?" he said. "The metaphor for me is the earth. The divine object is Earth."
The Oscar winner also talked about his extravagant purchase of a dinosaur skull -- a story which made headlines a few years back as Cage had to return the skull for legal reasons.
"The dinosaur skull was an unfortunate thing, because I did spend $276,000 on that," Cage said. "I bought it at a legitimate auction and found out it was abducted from Mongolia illegally, and then I had to give it back. Of course it should be awarded to its country of origin. But who knew? Plus, I never got my money back. So that stank."