Nicolas Cage was ‘likely never paid’ for Leaving Las Vegas

Leaving Las Vegas
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Despite launching his career to fresh heights, neither Nicolas Cage or writer/director Mike Figgis were apparently paid for Leaving Las Vegas.

1995’s Leaving Las Vegas was the film that launched Nicolas Cage’s career into another sphere of fame and opportunity. Playing an alcoholic Hollywood screenwriter opposite Elisabeth Shue earned Cage a Best Actor Oscar, opening up all kinds of new career avenues, not least his incredible run as an action star in the blockbuster triumvirate of Con AirFace/Off and The Rock.

However, despite being the launchpad for an incredibly successful second act in his career in which Nicolas Cage would shoot to global stardom, the actor has revealed that he was probably never paid for the film. Mike Figgis, the movie’s writer and director had already claimed this on The Hollywood Reporter's It Happened In Hollywood podcast while also adding that he himself had never been paid either.

According to Figgis, “they said the film never went into profit,” and as such, Lumiere Pictures, which financed the $4 million movie allegedly never paid its director or star. That’s one of the crummier cases of Hollywood accounting that we’ve come across over the years, given that the movie probably made its production budget back many times over.

When the outlet caught up with Nicolas Cage, he also confirmed that he’d likely never been paid either, adding “but I haven’t been thinking about it.”

Cage said that “I got to play a part that I absolutely had to play. There was no doubt in my mind that it would be an experience and a great movie. I wasn’t going to stop – whether they paid me or not, I was making the movie.”

Despite not being given what he was promised, the move still proved to be a smart step for the actor, launching a new stage in a career that seems to have had more acts than many stars. Nicolas Cage is currently talking about working in TV, or doing fewer films or maybe making a Spider-Man movie… and he can do all these things and more, because he’s Nicolas Cage. Even not getting paid can’t stop him, it seems.

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