Jack Nicholson brought him back to the movies, and since then, he never wants to leave it.
Honored at the Karlovy Vary Festival, Czech Republic, Michael caine presented to the public Best sellers, Lina Roessler’s first film, in which he plays a writer. Then he answered a few questions about his career, including his favorite roles in his own filmography, then the reasons why he “avoid retirement”.
“The man who wanted to be king, Alfie the flirty and a more recent film, Youth, by Paolo Sorrentino, are my favorites, explains the 88-year-old star. I won the equivalent of the German Oscar for this film, which however was ignored in Britain and the United States. I was waiting to read the reviews. I was thinking that I might be named somewhere … but I was completely ignored. I do not know why. The same goes for the John Huston movie, The man who wanted to be king. He was a great director, really good. I met him a few times, I knew his children. There is no one else like John Huston, and obviously there is no one else like Sean (Connery, who played alongside him in the movie). We’ve always been friends. “
Youth: the triumph of citizen Caine
Then recounting how Christopher Nolan came to his home to offer him the role of Alfred in Batman Begins, promising him that playing Bruce Wayne’s butler would mean more than telling him that “dinner is served !”, Michael Caine goes on to explain that at that time, he was more or less retired. “I almost gave up the cinema, he admits. I had this apartment in Miami and a restaurant, I was very happy like that and I was going back to England during the summer. But getting back to it gave me new perspectives. In addition, I won the Oscar for The Work of God, the Devil’s part (De Lasse Hallstrôm, released in 1999, six years before Batman Begins, editor’s note). It’s crazy how much I could do after deciding that I wouldn’t do anything at all! I was like, ‘It’s not up to you to play these roles anymore’. I was tired and old, I was 65. Jack Nicholson also lived in Miami and he said to me, ‘I have a good script and I would like us to shoot it together.’ And all of a sudden, I thought if I had actually retired at 65, I would never have had an Oscar, and I would never have made a movie with Jack Nicholson. I wouldn’t have toured with Christopher Nolan either. Now, I act in these films a bit like a lucky charm. I was for example in Dunkirk when there was no role for me at the start. But they asked me to lend my voice to the officer who gives the orders to the pilots, who tells them what to bomb. (…) In the end, I never really retired. Now I am 88 years old. I can’t tell that people are lining up outside my door to offer me a script, but occasionally there is a role for me. The last few months, with all the free time we’ve had, I’ve been bored, so I told myself that I had never written fiction. I felt like I had to do it, so I imagined, not literature, but a thriller titled If You Don’t Wanna Die. I sent it to publishers. Okay, this is only the beginning of the project, but I loved writing this. A fiction. It’s like a biography, except you can tell a lot of lies in it. “
The full interview with Michael Caine can be read on the website of Variety, in English.
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