Pig, which stars Nicolas Cage as a truffle hunter, is out in theaters this Friday, July 16, 2021. The film is directed by Michael Sarnoski and its official synopsis reads, “A truffle hunter who lives alone in the Oregonian wilderness must return to his past in Portland in search of his beloved foraging pig after she is kidnapped.”
ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese talked to Pig star Alex Wolff about his stellar performance as a truffle salesman and working alongside Nicolas Cage. Check out the video below or read the full transcript.
Tyler Treese: Alex, this is such an interesting film. How familiar were you with truffle hunting prior to the role? I wasn’t very familiar. I’d seen a King of the Hill episode where a pig starts tripping on mushrooms, but other than that I learned a lot from this.
Alex Wolff: That’s really funny. I haven’t seen that episode. That’s so funny. I didn’t know really anything about it until I read the script. Now I think that I could like enter a truffle knowledge competition because I went just completely headfirst into the underground world of truffles. I think I’ve read basically every book about truffles, probably not every single one, but the main starting-off, jumping-off point was this book called The Truffle Underground that I read. That was incredible and was basically The Sopranos for truffle hunting. And then I read Truffle Boy, which was like The Catcher in the Rye, but about a young truffle hunter, about Ian Purkayastha. His book. So I was very, very moved by those two books. So then I just went deeper and deeper and deeper. Now, yeah, I know basically everything to when I go to the restaurant, I’m like, “So what kind of truffles are these?”
Pig is very much a character study of Nicolas Cage’s character, but you serve as such an important role and you two have so much chemistry on screen that it’s really fun to watch. Does your approach change when you’re kind of that supporting character that is there to complement rather than to be the focus?
Um, ouch [laughs]. Interesting wording, but it doesn’t change, no.
Getting to shoot with Nic Cage had to be incredible. He has so many great monologues during the film and does so many great speeches. Were you able to learn anything working on Pig and learning from him?
All jokes aside, with a joke at the last question, I really was there to support him and I really would not want it any other way. I just did a couple of interviews with him where I just became completely verklempt and was very emotional just because Nic and I found each other at a time where I felt like we both really needed each other personally. I was going through kind of a hard time and I think he was too. So we kind of came together at the beginning of this movie at just the perfect moment, but even more than that part of the whole reason I’m even an actor is because of Nic. He’s always been my favorite actor since I was a kid. And, you know, I remember seeing The Family Man at a young, young age and it ruining my life, and Matchstick Men and Raising Arizona and Adaptation. I find him to be the most versatile, special, incredible actor.
Then working with him, I didn’t realize that someone could be so incredible and so singular. So raw and yet be the most… he did something that no other actor’s ever done where I’ve said this, but it felt like he threw out a rope and pulled me in. He guided me through the scene. So by the end, all the angles were finished. I didn’t even realize. It was like it happened in a haze because you just fall into this fugue state with him, no matter what, cause there’s just not one moment of false. There is no fraudulence with Nic. It’s just all honest, raw feeling. It’s even hard to talk about it or intellectualize it because the experience was so profound and once in a lifetime. I don’t think I’ll ever have a collaboration as exciting or as emotional as the one I have and hopefully continue to have with Nic.
That sounds incredible. You’re in a really interesting part of your career where Old and Pig are just releasing right after another. I’m sure doing double the press isn’t as exciting, but how exciting is it having these two films out and they’re both so good?
Oh, thank you so much. It’s really, really exciting. They feel like two different parts of my life somehow. So in some ways, they feel super unrelated, except for the fact that they’re both coming out. So it does feel like I’m talking about two totally separate things. So it’s hard. It’s odd. Everyone else sees them as kind of coupled together. Cause they’re coming up, but me, I’m like, “Wow, that those are two different lifetimes.” It’s very funny.