Nicolas Cage may have grown up in southern California, but he always had one foot in The Big Easy. The city has had a hold on the actor ever since he traveled there to film the 1990 movie Wild at Heart, so it hardly surprising that he jumped at the chance to return last year to film The Runner.
The TMZ culture has changed not only the way we evaluate our politicians, but also actors and films themselves.
In the first of at least two films based on the 2010. The Runner represents a self-directed turn toward more emotionally naked performances.
Cage spoke with TIME about his history with New Orleans, the roles he cherishes most and what political scandals have in common with film criticism in the era of TMZ.