I Asked A Plastic Surgeon To Turn Me Into Nicolas Cage
There isn’t a good story about the event that caused me to ask the question, “How much would it cost for me to look like Nic Cage?” I've had other Nic Cage questions before, so this just kind of happened.
I brushed it off initially, but when I ran into Dr. Samir Pancholi—Medical Director of Cosmetic Surgery of Las Vegas and the President of the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery—I knew I found the person to get a straight answer to my burning question.
Dr. Pancholi went through every aspect of our faces and listed every procedure, from top to bottom, that it would take to turn me into the Academy Award-winning star of Moonstruck, Con Air, Leaving Las Vegas, The Wicker Man, and oh so many more. At first, I felt exposed, uncomfortable, and incredibly self-conscious about being picked apart so ferociously by a medical professional, but—by the end—I found a newly-discovered love for my own face as well as the face of the man from Face/Off.
By the way, Dr. Pancholi does not recommend doing this.
Dr. Pancholi: So, there are some features which you have that are similar to those of Nicolas Cage. The first thing: hair. If we wanted to make you look like him, it would be an adjustment with a hair transplant.
JG: Does that mean more or less hair?
Dr. P: We would need the hairline to match. You have some receding along the temples, where he just has a higher hairline. So, we would take your two receding regions along the temples, and bring that forward while adding density in the middle with a transplant—because Nic Cage has a straighter hairline as opposed to yours.
Hair transplant: $5,000 - $6,000
Dr. P: We would need to make your nose a little bit thinner and also, from the side, a little bit straighter. His nose is a bit pointier.
Rhinoplasty: $8,000 - $9,000
Dr. P: As far as your eyebrows, you would add more hair and expand more toward the middle. So: hair transplant to the eyebrows and add towards the middle. You could also place Botox in the forehead to make your eyebrows fuller.
JG: Where does that hair come from?
Dr. P: Same type of hair as the first transplant, from the back of the head. There are extensions to add to the eyebrows that would increase the density.
Eyebrow hair transplant: $2,000; Botox: $500 - $600
Dr. P: From there, we look at the eyes. He has a little bit more eyelid showing—meaning his eyelids are a little bit longer than yours, and that’s actually little more challenging to address. It wouldn’t be something we could mess around with too much.
Dr. P: When we get to the cheeks, it’s interesting. You and him both have high cheekbones, but his drop off quite a bit past his cheekbones. Part of his face is almost sunken in and not especially full, which gives him that defined cheekbone look.
You have high cheekbones, but fuller cheeks. There are some tricky things you could do—these are things I wouldn’t recommend—but they’d get you there. There’s something called the buccal fat pad under the cheek—and when you take that fat pad out—you can get that sculpted, sucked-in cheek look. So, that’s a way to make your cheeks thin out.
Fat pad removal: $3,000
Dr. P: Your lips are very different. He has a downward slant to his mouth and his lips are generally thinner. You have very defined points to your lips and they're also very thick. He has a thin top lip and full bottom lip. You have a matched full top and bottom lip.
Lip Reduction: Not a real thing, apparently
Dr. P: The bottom third of Cage’s face comes to a point—your face is a little more round. You could place Botox on the bottom part of the jaw and that would take out some of the fullness. It would make the face a bit more angular.
JG: Doesn’t Botox make the skin tighter?
Dr. P: Well, it changes the fullness and relaxes the muscle, so you get a softer look to your jaw. If the fat and Botox doesn’t do it, then you can also put some filler in the cheekbones to get more fullness. For example, Voluma. Also, we’d have to remove some of the fat in your neck area.
Voluma: $1,500; Neck fat removal: $5,000
Dr. P: In the end, you’d be closer to looking like Cage, but ultimately you have a different bone structure. The thing is, overall, your face has a similar shape to Nic Cage's. Looking at your face and his, your forehead length, middle part of your face, and lower part of your face all match up pretty well. From the nose to the chin, though, it’s very different.
There’s a whole lot of tinkering involved. When you look at Nicolas Cage’s images, you’re a lot younger-looking than he is. You don’t have the wrinkles in the same area that he does, so you would have to wait until you developed folds.
Total Cost: $25,000 - $27,100
Is this crazy?
Dr. P: If someone were to come in and say they want to look like somebody else, it is not my place to treat these people—It’s definitely a red flag. I don’t want to treat these people and I always let them know that.
Jeremy Glass is the Vice editor for Supercompressor and would, one day, like to switch faces with somebody.