Cage: Richard Gere saved me from jail

Nicolas Cage, left, and Richard Gere.
Nicolas Cage, left, and Richard Gere.

US actor Nicolas Cage has credited fellow actor Richard Gere with saving him from a life behind bars.

Cage admits he was a hellraiser in his youth and often trashed hotel rooms and insulted his co-workers on set.

He says he would have ended up in jail if he hadn't channelled his anger into acting.

Cage is adamant his life was turned around after a heart-to-heart conversation with Gere when they worked together on 1984 movie The Cotton Club.

"I wish I had not been so angry at 18. I was a pretty wild guy with a lot of energy. I was into punk rock and didn't know where I was fitting in," he's told Britain's The Sun newspaper.

"I wanted that energy to go somewhere. I wanted it to be constructive rather than destructive, but I just did not have a clue in which direction to take it. Finding a career in which I could express those feelings was lucky. It could have gone either way. I could have ended up in jail," Cage said.

Gere told his co-star that he would only have three films left in him if he kept on behaving the way he was, Cage said.

"I was so gung-ho (reckless). I was ripping up my trailer, trashing my hotel room, walking on set and insulting everyone.

He also said that he wish he knew at 18 the importance of manners.

"... being polite costs nothing. Being angry is a waste of valuable energy," he said.

- WENN

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