Nicolas Cage admits he would ''trash his trailer'' and insult people in his early career.

The 49-year-old actor accepts he acted like a ''lost youth'', behaved badly and walked around his film sets with an attitude when he started his career.

In an interview with The Sun newspaper, he said: ''I was so gung-ho. I was ripping up my trailer, trashing my hotel room, walking on set and insulting everyone.

''It was the way I was for getting into a part. I thought it was the best way to behave as the lost youth who went the wrong way.''

It was Richard Gere who warned Cage to reign in his bad behaviour when they worked on the 1984 film 'The Cotton Club' together and told him that the would not make it in Hollywood if he continued to be difficult.

He explained: ''[Richard Gere said:] 'If you keep on behaving as you are, you will only have about three film roles left in you.' ''

Cage - the nephew of director Francis Ford Coppola - has since changed his ways and now understands the importance of good manners.

He added: ''Another thing that I wish I knew at 18 is that manners are very important and being polite costs nothing. Being angry is a waste of valuable energy.''