JAMES LIPTON WITH MICHAEL CAINE

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Michael Caine Photo Oi! You! Funny-face. Did you know that I shared a flat with Terence Stamp in the sixties? And that I also have a stake in six restaurants, and own my own production company! Yeah. Not a lot of people know that! Not even James Lipton, when I -- Michael Caine - spoke to him in 2000 for a whole 45-minutes.


Michael Caine - Acting in Film


THE STORY:
One man was brought up in England, where as the other man has a very nice beard. But still. Does Mister Blue-Cards himself, James Lipton, have the balls to take on the Cockney rebel, Michael Caine, in this episode of 'Inside the Actors Studio'?

Yeah. Of course he does. By asking him questions' on such subjects as: (1) His parents. (2) His humble beginnings in London's 'Club-Land'. (3) Why he was kicked out Joan Littlewood's stage school. And (4) How his father's demise spurned him on to becoming the man he is today.

Here. Why don't you have a look at some of what Michael says to James?
  • I'm a cockney. Cockneys never take anything too seriously. We're the lower working class who make very good soldiers.
  • My father always said I was the milkman's son. I never looked anything like him.
  • My father was a Catholic. My mother was a Protestant. I was taught in a Jewish school. And my wife's a Muslim. What a mixed bag!
  • Most actors hold up a picture and say 'look at me'. Whilst I hold up a mirror and say 'look at you'.
  • I never talk to another actor about what I am going to do before a performance. It spoils the whole process.
  • You should never act in front of a camera, because it will show you as a phony.

Moreover, throughout this 'old school' tête-à-tête, Michael elaborates on some of his film projects as well.
  • On 'Zulu' -- I based my character on the Queen's husband. Prince Philip. He never moves about too much. Powerful people never do.
  • On 'The Ipcress File' -- Harry Palmer looked liked a looser, but acted like a winner.
  • On 'Alfie' -- Basically, Alfie is an old friend of mine I knew from club-land, Jimmy Hudson.
  • On 'Sleuth' -- Larry was rubbish on the first day and left the set in a right huff. But the very next day, when he came back wearing a mustache, he was bloody brilliant. He said to me 'I can't act with my own face'.
  • On 'The Man Who Would Be King' -- John Huston always called me and Sean by our characters names. We were given so much money to do the film, he thought we didn't need much direction, and we should put in most of the leg work ourselves.
  • On 'California Suite' -- Comedy is like walking on razor-blazes. Drama is a lot easier to do.
  • On 'Death Trap' -- I kissed Superman on the lips.
  • On 'Educating Rita' -- I played a man where you couldn't see how his machinery worked. Some people thought I was playing myself, Ha!
  • On 'Hannah and Her Sisters' -- Woody never wanted me to be funny. Didn't stop me though.
  • On 'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels' -- In real life me and Steve Martin are complete opposites. I'm normally a loon, and Steve is very serious.
  • On 'Little Voice' -- I'm at an age where I cannot get the girl, so I get 'the part' instead.
  • On 'The Cider House Rules' -- To me, this is the greatest performance I've ever done.

In closing this interview, Michael answers more questions posed by James from the Bernard Pivot structured questionnaire -- where we learn that she likes the word 'tomorrow', and hate the word 'yesterday'. Before he then answers subsequent questions posed to him by the studious audience, about: the differences between the stage and the screen, actors-block, and exploration.




THE REVIEW:
Now if you've been following my site, folks, by now you're bound to know that I'm a big Michael Caine fan. Heck, why do think I interviewed the developer of his official site, Mark, when I first started this blog? (click on the link provided for that particular post). Therefore, I'm sure you can hazard a guess as to what I think about watching Mickey Khan in this episode of 'Inside the Actors Studio'?

Michael Caine in The Ipcress FileYes. That is correct. I thought that it was the dog's b*ll*cks (that means I liked it).

However, before I tell you why I've compared this program to a canine's gonads', please allow me to splurge some Caine related trivia first. (1) Michael Caine's real name isn't Michael Caine. It's Maurice Joseph Micklewhite. Originally he changed it to 'Michael Scott', but when his agent told him that there was another actor using this name, he changed the 'Scott' part of it to 'Caine', after the 1954 film, 'The Caine Mutiny'. (2) Not so long after his mother passed away, Michael discovered that he had a 'secret' older brother called David. David suffered from epilepsy for his entire life, and lived in a care home situated in Surrey called 'Cane Hill'. (3) Quincy Jones -- who was one of the composers on the Caine film, 'The Italian Job' -- shares the same birth date as he does -- the 14th of March, 1933. (4) Cor' Blimey! The 1987 thriller, 'Jaws: The Revenge', sure has a lot to answer for! Initially it hindered Michael from attending the 1986 Academy Awards ceremony; and accepting the 'Best Supporting Actor' award for the Woody Allen movie, 'Hannah and Her Sisters'. Then, in the following year, this fishy-film gave Michael his first 'Razzie' nomination for 'Worst Supporting Actor'. And finally, because this nautical production took a lot longer to make than first thought, Michael missed out on the lead role in the media satire, 'Switching Channels'. (5) Although he met John Wayne many times throughout the years, Michael learnt his American accent for the 1967 film -- 'Hurry Sundown' -- from May West. (6) Apart from the many other awards Sir Caine has been awarded with, in 1987, he was awarded the 'British Variety Club Award' for 'Best Film Actor', plus in 1993 and 2000 respectively, he was awarded a CBE and a knighthood, for his contribution to the performing arts. (7) Michael has appeared in two remakes of his old films. The first one was Sylvester Stallone's 2000 'Get Carter' remake; and the second one was the Jude Law / Kenneth Branagh 2007 'Sleuth' remake. (8) Whilst Michael was inspired into becoming an actor because of the works of Humphrey Bogart, Mike Myers was inspired to create 'Austin Powers' partially on Michael's character in the film, 'Alfie'. Please note: Mister Caine would play Austin's father in the 2002 comedy 'Austin Powers in Goldmember'.


Michael Caine Today


Alright. So now that's out of the way with, let me just state for the record that nigh on everything Michael said throughout this entire interview, I've already heard before. Not that this is a bad thing of course. No way. In fact, I've just realized this fact right now, whilst writing this bullsh*t.

Young Michael Caine
But that's precisely what Michael does to me you see. He captivates me so much; I can't help but hang onto every single word he says.

Take that sad tale he told about how his father hardly having a penny to his name when he died for example. Boy-oh-boy! I was just blown away by that sob story, even though I heard him tell it years ago. Honest to God. I could see myself in Michael's shoes during that pivotal moment in his life. Giving me the gumption to make a stand on who I am, and what I'm all about.

OK, I have to admit, the biggest difference between the two of us, is that Michael has already made his stand, whereas I still need a pair of crutches to support my wares. Nonetheless, Michael has changed my life for the better. Making me a stronger person because he has become what he has become, whilst spreading some fun in the process.

Anyway, enough of me and Sir Mick, all in all this episode of 'Inside the Actors Studio' was a blast to watch. Michael was on top form, telling us about his acting process, and what he thought about the numerous roles he played. Also, I have to give credit to James Lipton for highlighting Michael's achievements in a very personable manner.

 Smashing show. Bloody smashing. Don't you agree, guys?




THE RATING: A