"The phone stopped ringing. It was like, 'What do you mean we're not doing National Treasure 3? It's been 14 years.'"
Nicolas Cage has virtually no regrets about transitioning to starring in straight-to-VOD action films in the past few years.
Back in 2014, the actor experienced a string of box office flops like "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" and "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance." Reports had also surfaced that the star had allegedly blown his $150 million dollar fortune and owed the IRS $6.3 million in unpaid property taxes which resulted in a circumstance that required Cage to take every role that was offered to him to alleviate his debt.
In an interview with GQ Magazine, Cage acknowledged the trajectory his career took from starring in blockbuster movies to straight-to-VOD projects and set the record straight about his integrity as an actor.
"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?'" He confessed that he would always get vague answers about the project but knew the elephant in the room. "Well, 'Sorcerer's Apprentice' didn't work, and 'Ghost Rider' didn't really sell tickets. And 'Drive Angry', that just came and went.'"
Cage also revealed that at the time, he had been struggling to take care of his mother and providing her with the care that she needed.
"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," he says. "It was just all happening at once."
The actor was adamant that he would not file for bankruptcy contrary to the advice of many of his friends, and despite his decision to take on VOD projects, Cage cleared up the misconception that he had no passion for the work he was producing.
"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," he continued. "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."
According to the publication, the role that was finally able to help Cage clear his debts was the role of playing a fictionalized version of himself in his upcoming movie, "The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent."
The new film received rave reviews in the SXSW film festival and currently boasts a 100% certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
As for returning to the big screen in a blockbuster type fashion, Nicolas is more thrilled to be a part of smaller scaled indie films.
"I enjoy making movies like 'Pig' and ‘Leaving Las Vegas’ more than I enjoy making movies like 'National Treasure,'" he admitted. "When I talk about fair-weather friends in Hollywood, I'm not talking about ['National Treasure' producer] Jerry Bruckheimer. I'm talking about Disney. They're like an ocean liner. Once they go in a certain direction, you've got to get a million tugboats to try and swivel it back around."