Nicolas Cage's most heroic role yet is the real-life social media move he made that helped cops find a missing 15-year-old, and her alleged captor ... according to her parents.
We talked to Britton Ramsey, stepdad to Alexis Boroviak-- the 15-year-old Ohio girl whose missing person's case went viral when Cage agreed to take a pic with Ramsey and the missing poster.
Alexis was found 2 days ago ... allegedly held against her will by 41-year-old Chris Schroeder, a man she reportedly met online. Sources close to the investigation tell TMZ, cops tracked her down through a social media link they traced back to the suspect's computer.
Britton told us he thinks the social media awareness around Nic's pic absolutely spread the word -- and even helped him navigate some bad neighborhoods. He says while he was searching, people would recognize him as "the Nicolas Cage guy" and then stop to help out.
Britton says he hasn't seen Nic since he took the photo, but would love to buy him a beer.