Nicolas Cage is an exceptional actor who has already made a name for himself in all areas of the film industry. Whether it’s an indie production, blockbuster or art house – Nicolas Cage is a real jack of all trades and that’s exactly why his followers worship him in an almost cult-like way. However, the superstar celebrated his greatest success as an actor in 1996, when he received the Oscar in the category for best leading actor for his haunting performance in the drama “Leaving Las Vegas”.
In “Leaving Las Vegas”, which we consider to be one of the best films of all time, Nicolas Cage and Ben Sanderson embody a man whose life is collapsing around him bit by bit: he loses his job, his family and ultimately his friends . Almost without any means of subsistence, Ben travels to Las Vegas to drink himself to death. While consistently pursuing his plan, he meets the prostitute Sera (Elisabeth Shue), who will do anything to give Ben a meaning in life again.
» “Leaving Las Vegas” DVD & Blu-ray on Amazon*
In the “It Happened In Holywood‘ podcast most recently guest-starred Mike Figgis, the director of ‘Leaving Las Vegas. During the conversation, the filmmaker revealed that he and Nicolas Cage were never paid to work on the drama. Although the two were promised $100,000 in advance, financier Lumiere Pictures never paid out the money. The reason: “Leaving Las Vegas” allegedly made no profit.
“However. I mean my career picked up speed again and the next film I did I got paid really well. And within a year, Nic was making $20 million a movie, so that was pretty good,” Figgis said.
So the lack of payment for “Leaving Las Vegas” didn’t hurt the careers of Mike Figgis and Nicolas Cage. Moreover, this is not an isolated case in the film business. The problem is that “Leaving Las Vegas” was already classified as a micro-budget production in 1995 with a budget of just $4 million. The profit margin is correspondingly low, since such small strips have to face a lot of challenges with distribution. In the case of “Leaving Las Vegas”, it is rather frustrating that money was promised at the beginning, but this was never paid out.
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