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Nicolas Cage Settled For 'Crummy' Roles to Claw His Way Out of $6 Million Debt: 'It Was Dark'

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Apr. 25 2023, Published 5:30 p.m. ET

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Oscar-winning actor Nicolas Cage got candid about the "dark" time in his life when he was over $6 million in debt, RadarOnline.com has learned.

Cage, 59, attributed his past financial woes to poor investments coupled with the crash of the real estate market. Struggling under the crushing weight of debt, the actor revealed he was desperate for work and settled for "crummy" roles.

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During a 60 Minutes interview that aired on Sunday, Cage refused to sugarcoat the "dark" period of his life.

"I was over-invested in real estate," Cage recalled. "The real estate market crashed, and I couldn’t get out in time."

Under pressure to repay his debt, the Raising Arizona actor accepted any role that would help alleviate the massive financial burden.

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"I paid them all back, but it was about $6 million," Cage said while he added that he "never filed for bankruptcy."

After CBS host Sharyn Alfonsi stated that it must've been a "dark" time for the actor, Cage agreed. "It was dark, sure," Cage responded, as he noted that working overtime helped dig him out of the hole.

"Work was always my guardian angel," the actor continued. "It may not have been blue chip, but it was still work."

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Many roles during that period fell under the direct-to-video category, a caliber of work that most accomplished industry veterans would avoid at all costs. Nonetheless, Cage saw the opportunities as work — and a paycheck.

"Even if the movie ultimately is crummy, they know I’m not phoning it in, that I care every time," Cage said of his past roles.

His remarks aligned with past comments on movies that "didn't work" in his favor or at the box office.

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"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," Cage told GQ in March 2022. "They didn’t work, all of them. Some of them were terrific, like Mandy, but some of them didn’t work."

Over a decade since the real estate market crash of 2008, Cage remained open about paychecks being a motivating factor while he was millions in debt.

"I can’t go into specifics or percentages or ratios, but yeah, money is a factor," Cage told the New York Times in 2019. "I’m going to be completely direct about that. There’s no reason not to be."

"There are times when it’s more of a factor than not," the actor added. "I still have to feel that, whether or not the movie around me entirely works, I’ll be able to deliver something and be fun to watch."

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