Nicolas Cage and wife Riko Shibata‘s love story involves flying squirrels. The Academy Award winner, 57, and his new wife, 26, made their red carpet debut at the premiere of the actor’s upcoming thriller film Pig on Tuesday, July 13 in Los Angeles, marking the couple’s first public appearance since they quietly tied the knot in Vegas in February. At the premiere, Nicolas recalled the moment he knew the relationship with Riko would work out.
“We met in Japan and I thought she was stunning when I met her,” the actor told Entertainment Tonight. “We had a lot in common. She likes animals, too, so I asked her, ‘Do you have any pets?’ And she said, ‘Yes, I have flying squirrels.'” Nicolas continued, “She had two sugar gliders… I thought, ‘That’s it. This could work out.'”
The National Treasure actor wore a dapper suit for the premiere, while his wife wore a black floor-length halter dress and shawl. Nicolas expressed his excitement to have his new wife by his side for the event. “I’m quite excited to take a picture with her,” he told ET.
The couple wed in February after about a year of dating on a date that held significance to the actor: February 16, the birthday of Nicolas’ late father August Coppola, a film executive, academic, and brother of film director Francis Ford Coppola. A rep for the actor previously told HollywoodLife that the couple met in Shiga, Japan over a year ago. A few hours before the news broke about their marriage, Nicolas and Riko were photographed on a carriage ride around Central Park in New York City in early March.
While on brother Marc Coppola‘s radio show last August, Nicolas revealed that he proposed to Riko over FaceTime amid COVID-19 lockdown. “She left New York and went back to Kyoto, Japan and I went back to Nevada and, um, I haven’t seen her for six months,” Nicolas said. “We’re really happy together and we’re really excited to spend that time together, so I finally just said, ‘Look, I wanna marry you,’ and we got engaged on FaceTime.”