Voicing a caveman in the animated box-office smash, The Croods, Nicolas Cage reveals he's something of a cave dweller in his personal life too.
"I feel like it's a new world and I'm being dragged into it slowly. I'm kicking and screaming as I go but eventually I'll get there. The whole social-media thing I really don't understand and I don't know that I ever will," he confesses.
One of the busiest actors of his generation, Cage has never been afraid to take enormous creative risks and yet he's first to admit that social media terrifies him.
"Facebook and Twitter? These things scare the hell out of me so I don't want to have anything to do with them," he says.
"I just think it's explosive. I also think you can get people you may not feel comfortable with interacting with you and, especially for somebody like me, how do you get away from that? And then of course I think everything on the internet has a permanent record so it's getting closer and closer to a Big Brother's watching you, Orwellian state of society which I find terrifying."
Supplying his voice to the character of a "cave-dad" known as Grug, Cage took the role no less seriously than he would any of his live-action projects, so when we meet he's a wealth of knowledge about our prehistoric ancestors.
"I'm told that if a Cro-Magnon boy were in school today, he would out-excel all the contemporary children because the science has shown that the way the Cro-Magnon man sliced rock to make stone blades, involved a level of intelligence that is no longer with us," argues the actor who paid $US276,000 at auction for a Tarbosaurus dinosaur skull , outbidding his pal Leonardo DiCaprio.
When Cage first began recording The Croods, beside Ryan Reynolds and Emma Stone, he struggled with some of his character's lines.
"Grug says things like 'New is bad' and 'Fear is good', which troubled me because it's not the way I chose to work and it's not the way I chose to live. In fact, it's the opposite," he says. "Having said that, I am a father and if you love your kids you're going to have a level of concern for them so you have to find a good school and surround them with people that are professional in the best way. However, I'm the last person who will tell my sons not to explore and try something," says Cage, who has a son from his short-lived relationship with model Christina Fulton, Weston Coppola Cage, 22, and a seven-year-old, Kal-El, whom the comic-book-loving actor named for baby Superman.
Previously wed six years to actress Patricia Arquette and just 108 turbulent days to Lisa Marie Presley, his marriage to former sushi waitress Alice Kim, 29, has proved a charm, third-time round.
One of Hollywood's most beloved eccentrics, the 49-year-old actor has ultimately found peace within his nine-year marriage to this beautiful Korean woman almost half his age, delighting in fatherhood second time around and strengthening his bonds with his eldest son. "I'm not an over-protective father, although there's no doubt that in this day and age, all you have to do is turn on the news and there's a legitimate reason to have concerns, and I have concerns just like any other parent. It's just that I don't want to suffocate my children with worry," says the actor who wears an enormous pear-shaped diamond solitaire wedding band.
If Cage gained notoriety early on in his career for eating a live cockroach in the film Vampire's Kiss, he's unsure whether he would repeat that feat today.
"At that age I was into punk rock and was trying to make a big noise and get myself on the map. I probably wouldn't do it today but then it made sense," says the Oscar-winning actor who, as a young man, was so determined to make his way in Hollywood without trading on the name of famous uncle, Francis Ford Coppola, he actually changed his name to Cage. Today, he says, he's a different man. Well known for his philanthropy, he has donated $US2 million to Amnesty International for a fund to help child soldiers and in 2009 he was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for Global Justice for the United Nations.
"I think I've got to a place where I really care about people. I don't have to think about a pet dying or something to get emotional in a scene because all I have to think about is that children are tortured somewhere in the world and that gets under my skin and makes me crazy that we live in a world where this kind of stuff really happens."
Reflecting on his career he says the best advice he's ever received came from David Bowie, who he admires greatly. "'How do you do it? How do you constantly sound present and cutting edge?' I asked. And he said 'I just never got comfortable with anything I was doing'.
"And those words meant a lot to me. That means 'Take the risk, go in the direction that maybe everyone thinks you shouldn't because there's a good chance you might discover something'.
"There's a lot of misperceptions about me. The biggest one being that I make movies only for money and that's not true. I've done 70 movies. I've been in this business for three-and-a-half decades. I've maybe done two or three movies that I was either litigated into or forced into for other reasons. But everything else was an honest experiment," Cage says.
Or, in the words of his Croods co-star Reynolds: "I don't think you can be in the industry as long as Nic Cage because the true a..holes tend to be weeded out. And he's just a real gentleman."