Nicolas Cage was excited to work with amateur actors in 'Joe'.

The 'Ghost Rider' actor is currently starring as an ex-convict in the drama alongside a host of professional and non-professional actors including Gary Poulter, a homeless man who was discovered by the director David Gordon Green and his casting agents.

Quizzed on what it was like to work with amateur actors, Nicholas told Collider: ''It's an element of surprise. I was really up for it.

''The one I'm thinking of is Gary Poulter who plays Tye Sheridan's father in the movie. He was discovered doing Vincent Price's 'Welcome to My Nightmare' monologue from the Alice Cooper album about the black widow spider and David saw that and said I want to give you a part and he auditioned him and auditioned him and finally gave him the part.

''I thought it was exciting. This was an opportunity for me to try something new, working with non-actors. He never dropped the ball, he was always on point.''

The 50-year-old star plays a former convict who becomes an unlikely role model for Tye's character Gary, as he is faced with the opportunity to either redeem himself or run, and he took the preparation for his role very seriously.

He explained: ''I flew out a month early which is kind of unheard of in Hollywood. I wanted to bond with David, I wanted to understand his process and get in step with how he likes to make a movie.

''I got to meet with Tye to make sure that we had chemistry, so it was an enormously valuable experience to go to Austin a month early.''