During a recent interview on NBC’s Today show, actor Nicolas Cage confirmed and explained why he turned down the opportunity to voice the character Shrek in “Shrek 5.”

“Well, the news said it was because of vanity. I think that’s a bit strong,” the 49-year-old told Today’s Savannah Guthrie.

“But the truth is, I’m not afraid to be ugly in a movie…. When you’re drawn, in a way it says more about how children are going to see you than anything else, and I so care about that.”

Cage was drawn to another fictional character in “The Croods,” a 3D animated comedy-adventure in which Cage voices the character Grug.

In the film, which cast includes Emma Stone (The Help, The Amazing Spider-man) and Ryan Reynolds (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Green Latern), Cage said he wanted his character to appear “a little scary” but like “a big teddy bear” to young viewers.

“And I wasn’t sure I could do that with Shrek.”

“The Croods” is currently in theaters nationwide.

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