Nicolas Cage has said he wanted his new film The Frozen Ground to remind audiences he is capable of giving "quiet and minimal" performances.
The 49-year-old actor plays a reserved state trooper in the film, which is based on the events surrounding Alaska's most notorious serial killer Robert Hansen, who is currently serving 461 years for murdering at least 17 women.
Nicolas is famed for big, dramatic performances playing characters such as violent war veteran Poe in Con Air and crazed terrorist Caster Troy in Face/Off.
He said: "My natural instinct is to try everything, but I made a decision and I explained to Scott [Walker, The Frozen Ground's writer and director] that I was going to be reserved.
"I think if you look at my filmography, I've always tried to be eclectic and mix it up a bit, but after a run of sort of operatic horror films where I was exploring the boundaries of film acting, I thought it was time to remind folk that I'm also capable at very quiet and minimal performance."
He added: "This job, I didn't take it lightly, because it's [based on] real life. I didn't want to approach it with any fireworks. I wanted it to be very direct."
But the actor is not sure he would make a very good state trooper in real life.
"I don't know, probably not so great," he said. "My interests are so diverse and you've got to have laser focus to be someone like that.
"Many people in Alaska are drunk and have guns and so a state trooper is walking a different kind of line. Every time you approach a car, you've got to think, 'Is this my last moment in life?'."
:: The Frozen Ground is in cinemas now.