Nicolas Cage really wanted in on The Godfather trilogy. So much so that he personally lobbied his uncle, director Francis Ford Coppola, to play Vincent Corleone in The Godfather: Part III. But alas it was not meant to be. During The Hollywood Reporter‘s actor roundtable, the Pig star shared the “embarrassing” story of the time he tried very, very hard to convince his uncle to cast him in the project. (We first came across this at Entertainment Weekly.)
Cage revealed that he knew his uncle was eyeing Andy Garcia for the role. So he took matters into his own hand and valiantly made a case for himself.
“This is a very embarrassing answer to your question, OK, because it involves family. So Uncle [Francis Ford Coppola] was doing Godfather III, and I said, ‘I really think I ought to be in your movie, Uncle. I really think it’s a good idea if you would cast me. I think I could play this part,'” Cage shared. “He was going to cast Andy Garcia, and I said, ‘But I just see myself more as James Caan’s son, and he’s playing Sonny’s son. He’s not playing Michael’s son. He’s Sonny’s son. I just feel a little more James Caan.’ It just wasn’t going to happen. Nope, not going to happen. So that was a movie I didn’t get let in that I really wanted to be in.”
But while Cage didn’t appear in his uncle’s classic gangster trilogy, the thespian did appear in two Coppola films in the ’80s—Rumble Fish and Peggie Sue Got Married. Part III is certainly the most divisive of The Godfather films. However, Garcia did score an Academy Award nomination for his performance as Vincent. And just a few years later, Cage scored an Oscar for Leaving Las Vegas. So it seems like in the long run things worked out pretty well for all involved… or not involved.
Sure, Nicolas Cage looks back on this Godfather III pitch with a grimace. But they say Hollywood’s about who you know, so you have to shoot your shot, right? Even if the answer’s a resounding “not this time, pal.”