The director says Nicolas Cage was never paid for the film, which earned him an Oscar

It turns out a shiny new Oscar is the only thing Nicolas Cage has won after working on the 1995 film Leaving Las Vegas.

Although Cage – whose real name is Nicolas Coppola – won the Best Actor category, he wasn’t actually paid to be the lead actor in the film.

Mike Figgis, screenwriter and director of “Leaving Las Vegas,” admitted on The Hollywood Reporter’s podcast It Happened in Hollywood that he and Cage didn’t even see a penny in their bank accounts after the film.

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

Figgis claims he was owed $100,000 for his director’s 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 recognized for after working on the film "leave Las Vegas" was the Oscar he won.
Nicholas Cage said the only thing he was recognized for after working on the movie “Leaving Las Vegas” was the Oscar.
Corbis via Getty Images

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

According to Box Office Mojo, it grossed $32 million worldwide. 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 doesn’t address the lack of compensation over 27 years later.

Mike Figgis claims he's owed $100,000 for his director's fee, which he never received.
Mike Figgis claims he’s owed $100,000 for his director’s fee, which he never received.
Tullio M. Apulia

“Whatever he said. “I mean, my career took off again after that, and the next movie I did, I got paid really well. And within a year,[Nic]was making $20 million a movie, so that was pretty good.”

The film was a monumental turning point in Cage’s career, and shortly thereafter he landed roles in The Rock, Con Air, and National Treasure.

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

https://nypost.com/2022/10/06/director-says-nicolas-cage-was-never-paid-for-the-film-that-won-him-an-oscar/ The director says Nicolas Cage was never paid for the film, which earned him an Oscar

Emma Bowman

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