Nicolas Cage is grateful his job was able to pay back his debt.
On Sunday's "60 Minutes," Cage said he "overinvested" in the real estate market and, after the crash, was $6 million in debt. Committing himself to his work was all that could help him.
"I was overinvested in real estate. ... The real estate market crashed, and I couldn't get out in time," the Academy Award winner said. "I paid them all back, but it was about $6 million. I never filed for bankruptcy."
Host Sharyn Alfonsi noted, "That had to be a dark period for you."
Cage, 59, couldn't agree more.
"It was dark, sure," he said, adding that working back to back "no doubt" was the bright light in the dark place.
The "Valley Girl" actor continued, "Work was always my guardian angel. It may not have been blue chip, but it was still work."
Speaking on the movies during that time period, Cage said, "Even if the movie ultimately is crummy, they know I'm not phoning it in, that I care every time."
In 2019, Cage told the New York Times that money was a huge reason he was making movies so quickly.
"I can't go into specifics or percentages or ratios, but, yeah, money is a factor. I'm going to be completely direct about that. There's no reason not to be," Cage said.
"There are times when it's more of a factor than not. 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."
He continued, "But, yes, it's no secret that mistakes have been made in my past that I've had to try to correct."
"Financial mistakes happened with the real estate implosion that occurred, in which the lion's share of everything I had earned was pretty much eradicated. But one thing I wasn't going to do was file for bankruptcy."
Cage said that "this pride thing" by working his way out of his debt was the main reason he didn't file for bankruptcy.
"Not all the movies have been blue chip, but I've kept getting closer to my instrument. And maybe there's been more supply than demand, but on the other hand, I'm a better man when I'm working," he said. "I have structure. I have a place to go. I don't want to sit around and drink mai tais and Dom Pérignon and have mistakes in my personal life. I want to be on set. I want to be performing."