What was Nicolas Cage's debt and how much has he paid off? Actor reveals why he took ANY role

What was Nicolas Cage's debt and how much has he paid off? Actor reveals why he took ANY role
Nicolas Cage claims he never took on a role he didn't believe in, though every role he did helped him avoid bankruptcy (Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

Nicolas Cage once had a net worth of $150 million, but when his life started spiraling out of control, he fell into debt. His massive debts and a string of box office flops led to the once bankable actor blowing up his fortune and accepting any offers that came his way, even the low-budget indie movies that went straight to video-on-demand.

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"After falling millions of dollars into debt, and then working tirelessly to dig himself out, he has made many movies—too many movies—that only reinforced the idea that Cage was maybe a little insane. And yet, through the 12 years that followed the death of his beloved father, the turmoil of near-bankruptcy, and the big studios turning their backs on him, Cage has stayed committed to delivering flashes of his highly personal brilliance in smaller projects. What followed his father's death and his financial ruin was a decade-long odyssey to do as many movies as possible for as much money as possible to pay his debts," as per GQ.

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What led to Cage's debt?

Cage blew a lot of money on sports cars, private jets, and yachts, but the real killer for his bank account was overly-priced and badly timed real estate investments. His vast real estate empire included two apartments on a ritzy stretch of New York's Fifth Avenue; three castles; Dean Martin's former home in Beverly Hills, California; a townhouse in Bath, England; and two islands in the Bahamas. His magnificent homes, apartments, and land either went into foreclosure or were sold for huge losses. What's more, the IRS came after him for $6.3 million in back property taxes, reports The Street.

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Apart from his debts, the 58-year-old was involved in incidents of public drunkenness and divorced his wife of 12 years. He was involved in a four-day marriage that he entered into while he was intoxicated. Cage revealed how studios turned their backs on him after his films started flopping. "The phone stopped ringing. It was like, 'What do you mean we're not doing National Treasure 3? It's been 14 years. Why not?' Well, Sorcerer's Apprentice didn't work, and Ghost Rider didn't really sell tickets. And Drive Angry, that just came and went," he told GQ.

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"I've got all these creditors and the IRS and I'm spending $20,000 a month trying to keep my mother out of a mental institution, and I can't. It was just all happening at once. When I was doing four movies a year, back to back to back, I still had to find something in them to be able to give it my all. They didn't work, all of them. Some of them were terrific, like Mandy, but some of them didn't work. But I never phoned it in. So if there was a misconception, it was that. That I was just doing it and not caring. I was caring," he told the magazine.

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Cage revealed how producers and studios turned their backs on him after his films started flopping (Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Cage claims he never took on a role he didn't believe in, though every role he did helped him avoid bankruptcy. As per GQ, the Oscar-winning actor finished paying off all his debts about a year and a half ago after signing on to 'The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,' where he stars as a fictionalized version of himself. Recently, Cage said he wants to play Egghead in a sequel to The Batman. "I think I can make him absolutely terrifying. And I have a concept for egghead. So let them know over at Warner Brothers, I'm down for Egghead."

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One tweet read, "He absolutely never, ever does anything but his best- I've said it before: there has not been, nor will there ever be an actor like Nicolas Cage. A master." Another said, "Nic Cage is the primary example of a great actor who has just been thrown under the bus by the other people in charge of his movies." A third user tweeted, "I've always said he's one of the greatest actors we've ever had, it just takes a good director to focus his talents otherwise he will fully take on the character as he wishes. Masterful actor. Any other take is disingenuous."

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Meanwhile, People revealed the first look of Cage playing Dracula in Universal's upcoming movie 'Renfield'. One tweet said, "Props to People for scoring the first-look at Nicolas Cage's Dracula in the upcoming Universal Monsters movie Renfield. Loving what I'm seeing here. Reminds me a bit of Christopher Lee's Dracula!" Another read, "First look at Nicolas Cage as Dracula and Nicholas Hoult as his henchman Renfield in the upcoming horror-comedy Renfield."

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