Michael Caine: “The movies retire you, you don’t retire from movies”


Olvasd el 2017. áprilisi számunkban megjelent exkluzív interjúnkat Sir Michael Caine-nel! 

Better known as Sir Michael Caine, Maurice Micklewhite was born in South London in 1933, although he came into his own amid the swinging 60s of The Beatles, Vidal Sassoon, Julie Christie and Peter Sellers.

The son of a fish-market porter and a charlady, he served with the British army during the Korean War. A father of two daughters, he was knighted at Buckingham Palace in 2000. He has been married to former beauty queen Shakira for 46 years.

A veteran of more than 100 movies, the 84-year-old actor today stars in comedy caper Going In Style with Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin which sees the fearless threesome rob a bank after their pensions are ripped off. Caine talks about friendship, family and money.

Q:So this is your sixth movie with Morgan Freeman?
Michael:Yes, we did three Batmans and two Now You See Mes and one of this.

Q:The theme of Going In Style is friendship. Are you friends in real life?
Michael:We’ve done six pictures together. Oh we are friends, yeah, good friends and we’ve got all that good stuff.

Q:But that doesn’t necessarily mean you are friends in real life?
Michael:My friends are mostly musicians. I also hang out with my driver, because I don’t drive anymore. One of my good friends is Leslie Bricusse, a composer and also the guy who owned the discotheque I lived in when I was younger, people like that. And Terry O’Neil, the photographer, they’re all my closest friends. Roger Moore and Sean Connery are the two actors that I’m closest to.

Q:What is the key to a lasting relationship between male friends?
Michael: Well, for a start, I have about ten extremely close male friends, and we have never in 60 years had an argument about anything. We never disagree at all, and none of us
have ever asked anything of each other – but we’ve all given. It’s not that you don’t do anything for each other – it’s that you volunteer before you are asked if you see something going wrong.

Q:Do you have female friends too?
Michael:I’ve been married to the same woman for 46 years so I have a very small feminine circle, mainly her friends.

Q:Why do you think actors don’t hang out together?
Michael:Because we’re never in the same place more than five minutes. Morgan lives in Mississippi and I live in London and Alan Arkin lives in San Diego – we’re not going to pop over to each other’s homes for dinner.

Q:How did you get involved in this project?
Michael:I think they lied and phoned one of us and said they had the other two, when they hadn’t, and that’s how they got us all. It’s a common trick. So when they tell you that, you think: Oh blimey, I’ll do that. And then the others said the same thing too. Also, they do give you a script as well and I thought the script was funny but what was more important about the script was that it was touching which I liked.

Q:You could afford to retire. Why do you still bother?
Michael:The movies retire you; you don’t retire from the movies. Then come no scripts or the money’s not good enough and it’s not worth getting out of bed – like that model said – or getting into bed even…

Q:Can you ever have enough money?
Michael:People say you can never have enough. There is that thing where if someone said to me: Do you want to live till you’re 100? I’d say: No. And they’d say: Why not? And I say: I can’t afford it. Because if I had stopped working, and I have a very high standard of living, and I can’t keep it up, so I’d rather die than go back to what I was when I was young, living in a tiny little room with a bed in it.

Q:What is the craziest thing you’ve done for money?
Michael:I used to pack butter in a factory – not by hand, the machine did it, but I ran the machine. That’s how I became an actor – I’d just come out of the army. I was a soldier in the national service from 18 to 20, and after I came out, I was working in this butter factory with this old man and he says to me: A young man like you? Fit and healthy. Do you want to do this all your life?  Working in a butter factory with an old guy like me who’s just trying to make some money? I told him: No, this isn’t want I want to do, and he asked me what I wanted to do with my life. I told him I wanted to be an actor but I didn’t know how to do it. I came from a very working class background where you wouldn’t know about drama schools or anything like that. So this old cockney man, he says: I’ll tell you. My daughter is a semi-professional singer, and she gets this newspaper called The Stage. He told me to go up to the West End and buy The Stage and look at the back at the ads and it said: Assistant stage manager, small parts. And I went and I got the job and that’s how I became an actor.

Q:Have you told this story before?
Michael:I wrote it in my book. I thought if I’d get one line, and then I got two, and then I got four, and then next thing you know.

Q:And then overnight you became The Michael Caine?
Michael:No, I was nine years in little theatre in the country. Nine years just slogging away. My first movie was Zulu with Stanley Baker and what happened was I finally got to the West End and I was in this play and it opened, and the first night, there was a director in there and I got Zulu [1964) and I never did theatre again.

Q:Seriously, you’ve never been tempted to return to the stage?
Michael:Not at all.

Q:So Zulu changed everything?
Michael:It was directed by and American called Cy Endfield and he cast me as a very posh officer. I’m working class Cockney, and England is very class conscious so I was very lucky that he was an American because no English director would have cast me in that part.  God bless America, that’s what I say.

Q:Are you a nostalgic person?
Michael:Who was that author who said: The past is another country; they do things differently there?  L.P. Hartley I think. But now that I’m a grandfather, I read this thing that said: Grandchildren fill a space in your heart, you didn’t know was empty – which is absolutely true. Cause you see grandparents going on about their grandchildren and you go: Oh, for god sakes shut-up, who gives a ****. And then after five minutes, you’re doing the same thing.

Q:What is the difference between grand-parenting in real life and grand-parenting on screen?
Michael:Being a grandfather in real life is expensive – and being a grand-father on screen, you get paid.

Q:What was the best part of Going In Style?
Michael:Because it’s so easy working with these guys. Movies, if you don’t really know or like the other people, are hard.

Szeretnél még további sztárinterjúkat, és még  sok-sok más érdekes cikket olvasni szószedettel, feladatokkal és hanganyaggal? Fizess elő a nyomtatott, 5 Perc Angol havi nyelvoktató-életmód magazinra! 

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bejárónő, takarítónő

to be knighted

lovaggá ütik

comedy caper

bűnügyi komédia





to disagree

egyet nem érteni

to volunteer


to pop over

beugrani valakihez

to lie



forgatókönyv, szövegkönyv



can afford

megengedheti magának

to retire

nyugdíjba menni

it’s not worth

nincs értelme, nem érdemes

standard of living


to keep sg up

fenntartani valamit




félig profi



to slog away

küszködni, vesződni

to be tempted

megkísértve lenni

to cast

kiválogatni egy szerepre


előkelő megjelenésű, flancos

God bless

Isten áldja meg

on screen

a vásznon, a filmvásznon

Kapcsolódó anyagok

Napi leckék
Egyéb megjegyzés