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Nicolas Cage Never Got Paid For The Movie He Won An Oscar For

Cage earned an Oscar for 1995's Leaving Las Vegas but neither he nor the film's writer-director got their promised $100,000 checks.


Actor Nicolas Cage earned an Oscar for 1995's Leaving Las Vegas, but he apparently never got paid for starring in the movie that helped jumpstart his career. Leaving Las Vegas writer-director Mike Figgis told The Hollywood Reporter that both Cage and himself were promised $100,000 each for the movie but the checks never came.

Figgis claims he was told by the financer of the movie, Lumiere Pictures, that Leaving Las Vegas never made a profit, and this is why he and Cage didn't get paid.

"They said the film never went into profit," he said.

Leaving Las Vegas earned $32 million worldwide against a reported budget of $4 million, but whatever the case, Figgis isn't losing sleep over the $100,000. As for Cage, he starred in blockbusters The Rock, Con Air, and Face/Off in the two years following Leaving Las Vegas, earning some good money.

"Whatever," Figgis said. "I mean, my career then took off again, and the next film I did [One Night Stand], I got really well paid. And within a year [Nic] was earning $20 million a film, so that was quite good."

Leaving Las Vegas tells the story of an alcoholic screenwriter who goes to Vegas to drink himself to death, before meeting someone who changes his life. The movie earned four Oscar nominations, including Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director, Best Actress, and Best Actor, with Cage winning that award.

Cage has a number of projects in the works, including the western Butcher's Crossing and the Dracula movie Renfield, both of which are set for release this year.

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