Nicolas Cage is looking back on his storied life — and he likes what he sees.
The actor, 56, who currently stars in the new sci-fi film Color Out of Space, tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue, “I don’t have any regrets because I think everything leads to something.”
“I do see the positive in every negative and the gold in every bit of lead,” he says.
Asked what advice he’d give his younger self, the Oscar winner muses, “I would’ve said just perhaps keep it simple in terms of your quest for life experience. Maybe simplify it a little more so that it doesn’t eclipse your work.”
“I had wanderlust,” he continues. “I wanted to go everywhere, see everything, and experience everything. If I had a little less of that, I could’ve focused more on the work itself.”
Cage is currently single after four marriages (to Patricia Arquette, Lisa Marie Presley, Alice Kim and Erika Koike), and is dad to sons Weston, 29, and Kal-El, 14.
In recent years, the Leaving Las Vegas actor has gravitated to eclectic parts in independent films.
“I see myself very much as a student of film performance and I’m always looking to learn something,” Cage previously told PEOPLE. “That’s why if you look at my filmography, it’s so eclectic. I’m always trying to challenge myself and take those risks and go for the triple axel, even though I might fall on my face. It’s still exciting to go for it and you still get points for trying.”
Cage has a busy year ahead, returning to his character of Grug in The Croods 2 and starring in a sci-fi martial arts film Jiu Jitsu, among other projects. The actor will also play a “creatively unfulfilled” version of himself in the recently announced movie, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.