Nicolas Cage starred in the 1988 comedy film Vampire’s Kiss, a role that saw him eat an actual, live cockroach in one scene. According to Cage, it’s something he’ll never do again.
Speaking to Yahoo, Cage was asked about having to eat the bug for the scene and noted to actor Nicholas Hoult that he actually ate two potato bugs in Renfield. He then said that it’s something he wouldn’t ever do again, however, and is “sorry” he even did it at all.
“I ate it twice because the director did it just to prank me. I’m not one to give advice, but [Hoult] ate a potato bug [in Renfield], so he took it to another level,” Cage said of eating a live cockroach. “I’ll never do that again. I’m sorry I did it at all.”
Vampire’s Kiss follows Cage as a literary agent who falls in love with a vampire and slowly comes to believe that he’s been bitten and is turning into one himself. In one scene, Cage—already going through the mental anguish of believing he’s becoming a vampire—finds a cockroach on his stove, picks it up, and eats it.
According to commentary from Cage on the DVD release of the film, the original script called for him to swallow a raw egg, but the actor thought an actual cockroach would get a better reaction from audiences. “I saw it as a business decision because when people see the cockroach go in my mouth… [they] really react,” Cage said.
Despite not being a real vampire in Vampire’s KissCage will now get the chance to play the role of the most iconic vampire of all time, Dracula, in 2023’s Renfieldwhich is now available in theaters.