Watch Now: KISS OF DEATH
David Caruso departed his highly successful TV series NYPD Blue after just two seasons to devote more time to his movie career, resulting in him playing the lead role in two 1995 films—Jade and Kiss of Death. In the latter, Caruso portrayed Jimmy, a former criminal and alcoholic, who left the business and got clean so that he could raise a family. One night, his cousin Ronnie (Michael Rapaport) visits him and begs Jimmy to help him deliver some stolen cars, otherwise Ronnie will be killed by Little Junior Brown (Nicolas Cage), the man he works for. Jimmy helps his cousin but when the deal goes south, the former ends up in jail. After some time, he accepts an offer from the district attorney (Stanley Tucci) to wear a wire and help him catch Little Junior.
The critics gave this Barbet Schroeder-helmed and Richard Price-penned picture mixed reviews, but there was a consensus regarding one thing, and that was Nicolas Cage's performance. Cage made the character of Little Junior larger than life, thereby providing us with a glimpse into the idiosyncratic acting style that the performer would begin to nurture during the course of his career, a style that would come to border on ridicule. In a way, this role kicked off a series of his peak acting performances and the following year would even see him receive an Oscar for his role in Leaving Las Vegas.