Cage plays the dual roles of Charlie and Donald Kaufman in this dramedy directed by Spike Jonze and written by Susan Orlean, Charlie Kaufman and his fictitious twin Donald Kaufman. Initially meant to be a straightforward adaptation of The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean, the movie is instead a surreal take on the difficulty Charlie Kaufman had in writing that adaptation. Co-starring Meryl Streep and Chris Cooper.
Access to Charlie definitely helped me shape my character. I think there are two Charlies. There’s the biological Charlie we have here, and then there’s the surrealistic Charlie, which is on the paper and in the movie. Spike and I together decided that we wanted to use the biological Charlie as a resource, in terms of interviews and examining his characteristics and the way he speaks, the way he thinks.