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Director Says Nicolas Cage Never Got Paid for Oscar-Winning Movie

It turns out that a shiny new Oscar is the only thing Nicolas Cage earned after working on the 1995 movie “Leaving Las Vegas.”

Although he emerged victorious in the Best Actor category, Cage – real name Nicolas Coppola – was actually not paid to be the film’s lead actor.

Appearing on The Hollywood Reporter’s It Happened in Hollywood podcast, “Leaving Las Vegas” writer-director Mike Figgis revealed that he and Cage didn’t see a penny touch their bank accounts after the film.

“Nicolas and I never got paid,” Figgis said.

Figgis claims he owed $100,000 for his directing fee, which he never received.

“They said the movie never made a profit,” he said of the now defunct Lumiere Pictures, which financed the $4 million film.

Nicholas Cage said the only thing he was awarded for after working on the movie “Leaving Las Vegas” was the Oscar.
Corbis via Getty Images

The film, adapted from John O’Brien’s 1990 novel of the same name, follows Cage’s character, Ben Sanderson, a screenwriter from Los Angeles who moves to Las Vegas and endures a grueling battle with alcoholism.

It grossed $32 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo. The film was nominated for four Oscars, including Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actress for Elisabeth Shue and Best Actor for Cage, which it won.

Figgis does not dwell on the lack of compensation more than 27 years later.

Mike Figgis claims he owed $100,000 for his directing fee, which he never received.
Mike Figgis claims he owed $100,000 for his directing fee, which he never received.
Tullio M. Apulia

“Whatever he said. “I mean, my career then took off again, and the next movie I did, I got paid really well. And in a year (Nic) was making $20 million a movie, so that was pretty good.

The film marked a monumental turning point in Cage’s career, soon after landing roles in ‘The Rock’, ‘Con Air’ and ‘National Treasure’.

He quickly became Hollywood’s highest-paid actor, but it wasn’t long before the fun was over, and he owed $14 million to the IRS and millions more to others. creditors, according to a March profile in GQ. .

New York Post

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