Nicolas Cage has admitted that he starred in dozens of straight-to-VOD movies to pay off his debts, but he maintains that he genuinely cared about every role he signed up for.
In a new interview with GQ, Cage cleared up a common “misconception” about the reason why he’s accepted so many VOD movie roles over the past decade, explaining that he used the money from those jobs to help stabilize his fractious financial situation but that he never “phoned in” a performance, as he gave each role careful consideration before accepting it.
“When I was doing four movies a year, back to back to back, I still had to find something in them to be able to give it my all,” Cage said. “They didn’t work, all of them. Some of them were terrific, like Mandy, but some of them didn’t work. But I never phoned it in. So if there was a misconception, it was that. That I was just doing it and not caring. I was caring.”
The article notes that Cage blew through his $150 million fortune and spiralled into debt. He reportedly owed the IRS around $14 million and other creditors millions more, while also juggling the costs of caring for his elderly mother, so when traditional studio movie offers came to a halt, he sought an alternative that would keep him from filing for bankruptcy.
“The phone stopped ringing. It was like, ‘What do you mean we’re not doing National Treasure 3? It’s been 14 years. Why not?'” he said before going on to consider how some of his other theatrical movies had performed around that time. “Well, Sorcerer’s Apprentice didn’t work, and Ghost Rider didn’t really sell tickets. And Drive Angry, that just came and went.'”
GQ confirmed that Cage “finished paying off all his debts” about a year and a half ago, ahead of appearing in his next film The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, playing a fictionalised version of himself — someone trying to balance family life and a career while simultaneously finding himself caught in the crossfire of a Mexican cartel leader and the CIA.
The film is set to be released on April 22 following its world premiere at SXSW 2022. Cage attended the event and gave some thought to future film roles, considering that he never plans on retiring from acting. He revealed that he would like to play DC supervillain Egghead and he has a “concept” in mind for the character if Warner Bros. is willing to listen.
Adele Ankers-Range is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow her on Twitter.
Author: Adele Ankers. [Source Link (*), IGN All]