Nicolas Cage was so determined to play a believable drunk is his OSCAR-winning role in Leaving Las Vegas he hired a booze coach.

The actor refuses to drink alcohol when he's working but he decided sobriety wasn't needed when he took on the role of a suicidal drunk in the hit 1995 Mike Figgis film.

He says, "I never drink when I act but I was trying to incorporate drunkenness into the character.

"TONY DINGMAN, who's a poet in San Francisco, was my drinking coach. Tony used to drink, he doesn't any more, and he was with me the whole time.

"There's one bar scene when I'm really freaking out and I'm really drunk, I'm blotto. I remember I was screaming, `I am his father.' That was like a primal scream that came out of some part of me that wasn't in the script."