Michael Caine of 'Youth' on Aging as an Actor: "I Don't Get the Girl, I Get the Part Now" - Actor Oscar Roundtable
"I was a big fan of Marlon Brando. I was like a young girl with Elvis Presley with Marlon Brando. I was completely overwhelmed. I sort of waited my turn to speak and everything."
"This Youth had come up by a man called Paolo Sorrentino who the year before I got the script had won best foreign film for a movie called The Great Beauty, which I loved," Michael Caine tells The Hollywood Reporter about how he came to star in Youth. "And I'd seen all his work without realizing I'd seen it, once I looked him up. And then I got this script, which stunned me because Paolo seemed to me to be on a plane where he wouldn't have heard of anyone like me, you know what I mean?"
"My agent said, 'he's written it for you and if you don't do it, he's not doing it.' And I said, 'well don't bother to send the script, I'll do it, it's okay.' "
Eventually Caine did read the script. "I got it and I read it, I suppose I better read it, because I knew I was going to do it. And it was so fabulous. The problem was I'm 82 years old and it was called Youth."
The double Oscar winner continues by sharing how he knew he had crossed into being an aging actor, saying, "there was moment, a very specific moment for me, when I got a script and I read it, and I sent it back to the producer and I said, 'the part is too small, it's not worth doing for me.' And he said, 'I didn't want you to read the lover, I wanted you to read the father.' And I suddenly went, 'oh my God, yeah. I know where I am now.' "
His advice for young actors comes from noticing how they think "they've got to have a masterpiece every time. Go ahead and do the bloody thing. If it flops you've got the experience anyway and if it flops, you've got the money."
"I don't miss [acting] when I'm not doing it," says Caine, but "I never fell out of love with acting, because I watch everybody. I'm the biggest film fan and actors' fan."
He was the biggest fan of Marlon Brando though. "I was like a young girl with Elvis Presley with Marlon Brando. I was completely overwhelmed. I sort of waited my turn to speak and everything."
The full Actor Roundtable will air on Close Up With The Hollywood Reporter on Sunday, Jan 17, at 11 a.m. ET on Sundance TV.
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