According to Leaving Las Vegas’ writer and director Mike Figgis, neither he nor Nicolas Cage received the $100K salary they should’ve earned by working on the 1995 film.
The revelation was made via It Happened in Hollywood. The latter is a podcast from The Hollywood Reporter.
“I never saw the money. I mean, Nicolas and I never got paid because they [Lumiere Pictures] said the film never went into profit.”
Lumiere Pictures made a profit from the Oscar-winning movie
However, according to Box Office Mojo, the film actually earned more than $32 million worldwide. Apparently, it also only cost Lumiere Pictures $4 million to film Leaving Las Vegas.
Adding in the fact that the writer-director and lead actor were reportedly never paid? That seems like a tidy profit, right?
All’s Well That Ends Well
However, despite not ever receiving his $100,000 salary, Figgis seems to believe it’s all water under the bridge.
“Whatever. I mean, of course, my career then took off again. The next film I did, I got really well paid,” he says.
“And within a year [Cage] was earning $20 million a film, so that was quite good.”
The Filmography of Nicolas Cage
Following his Academy-award-winning role as suicidal alcoholic Ben Sanderson, Cage then went on to star in The Rock (1996), Con Air (1997) and Face/Off (1997).
We also really liked Cage in Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse. But that’s a conversation for another day.
Furthermore, regarding Cage’s work on Leaving Las Vegas Figgis says, “Nick… eccentric dude though he is, he bankrolled the preproduction,”
“Essentially in a sense that he took a suite at the Chateau Marmont for us to rehearse. He rehearsed by getting drunk every night so he could get in the mode,” he continues.
“He was the heart and soul and put himself into this character and the whole production and was generous to everybody,” continues Figgis.
What is Mike Figgis known for?
Despite never receiving his promised salary, the writer-director did receive Best Director and Best Screenplay Academy Award nominations.
His other notable works include Timecode (2000) and also Suspension of Disbelief (2012).
You can now listen to Figgis’ on the Leaving Las Vegas episode of It Happened in Hollywood. The podcast can be listened to via podcast platforms including Spotify.
While you’re here, be sure to check out our video of the week. 10 of the best PlayStation 1 games of all time are shown off. What is your favourite PS1 game?