Nicolas Cage is a great actor, and he’s very in-demand. Sometimes he’s been too in-demand. Starting in the teens, he suddenly started doing more films than he had before. They often weren’t big films. They sometimes barely got released. Nor did they get good reviews. Remember the Left Behind remake? Cage has opened up about why he did some stinkers before: He had acquired massive real estate debt. Now he’s admitting that some of them weren’t so hot (although he did his best in them).
“I was over-invested in real estate. The real estate market crashed, and I couldn’t get out in time,” Cage explained in a sit-down for 60 Minutes. “I paid them all back, but it was about $6 million. I never filed for bankruptcy.”
Cage says this was a “dark” period in his life, but doing movies — even in questionable fare — helped get him through it, both financially and mentally.
“Work was always my guardian angel. It may not have been blue chip, but it was still work,” Cage said. “Even if the movie ultimately is crummy, they know I’m not phoning it in, that I care every time.”
Sprinkled through the detritus are some strong films, boasting some of his finest performances: David Gordon Green’s Joe, Paul Schrader’s Dog Eat Dog (which at one point finds him doing a leftfield Bogie impersonation), Mandy, and one of the five films he’s most proud of, Pig. Who knows? Maybe films like Rage, The Runner, Arsenal, or Inconceivable are actually secretly good.