More relatable words have never been spoken than when Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz) on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” having only just gotten her new puppy, Arlo, announced to the world, “I’ve only had Arlo for a day and a half, but if anything happened to him, I would kill everyone in this room and then myself.” Whatever kind of furbabies you have in your life, the thought of losing them to anything but old age is about as terrifying as it gets. Speaking to IndieWire in 2022, Cage explained how he channeled his own fear of losing his cat Merlin into his performance in “Pig”:

“I was at a point in my own life when I understood the feeling of loss. I understood the profound connection you can have with our animal brothers and sisters. I was always close with my cat. I had a terrible nightmare [after] I read the script: I had lost my cat Merlin, something horrible happened. I felt, ‘I can play this organically, authentically, I don’t need to go and force it.’ Lo and behold when I got on set, it just came out. It was the right place and the right time for that kind of director-actor-protagonist relationship. It just flowed.”

Later in the interview, Cage added that he would “go back to sense memory in some recent situations, my dreams of my cat, that was on my mind: God forbid something happened to my cat like what happened to Brandy the pig. It was a genuine fear and concern.” Non-pet owners might scoff or roll their eyes at Cage’s inspiration for one of his most heart-breaking and understated turns as an actor, but rest assured: When you’re close to any animal, you would be absolutely shattered if something bad happened to them.



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