NICOLAS CAGE FORGIVES PENN FOR 'NOT AN ACTOR' REMARK Hollywood star NICOLAS CAGE has forgiven his FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH co-star SEAN PENN for blasting his film choices, insisting he welcomes badly received movies. In 1999, Penn famously declared, "Nic Cage is no longer an actor. He's more like a performer", after Cage appeared in several blockbusters movies, including FACE/OFF and CON AIR, over gritty, low-budget dramas. In reflection, Cage admits he has no hard feelings towards Penn and is open to both bad and good movies on his filmography. Cage says, "That was his opinion and, you know, we've since left it all behind us. "But I think at any time an actor does something unusual it's going to be met with a certain amount of criticism. I've actively searched for that.

"When I did PEGGY SUE GOT MARRIED I wanted to play the character with this ridiculous voice and look, and I knew that it would be criticised, but I thought it's more interesting to take the bad critical hits and know that you've really done something."

CAGE LAUGHS OFF COPPOLA CLOSENESS

In other news Oscar winner NICOLAS CAGE has laughed off his fans' perception he regularly enjoys family get-togethers with his film-making family the Coppolas, insisting everyone is too busy to meet. Cage, whose real name is NICHOLAS KIM COPPOLA, is nephew to director FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA and cousin to both LOST IN TRANSLATION film-maker SOFIA COPPOLA and actor JASON SCHWARTZMAN.

And while the famous family keep in touch via emails and telephones, Cage finds it very difficult to organise gatherings with his relatives.

He says, "I think the last mythical Thanksgiving dinner I had with everybody was 15, maybe 10 years ago.
"There have been family gatherings, but everyone's doing their own thing. It's hard to co-ordinate schedules."