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I read books like mad, but I am careful to to let anything I read influence me.
– Michael Caine
When I’m doing an accent, you shouldn’t notice it for a while, if I’m doing it right.
The greatest luxury is not driving. I didn’t own a car until I was 30, and that was a Rolls-Royce, so it was cheaper to insure a chauffeur. I never want to drive again. My mind is always on other things. I hate parking, and I’m very short-tempered and would get road rage, I’m sure.
My view of actors is that basically they’re all harmless lunatics who’d be on the psychiatrist’s couch, except that we get this sort of catharsis every six months or so, and we go and be absolutely someone else.
I had been nine years in the theatre and hadn’t had massive success. My only thing was I wanted to be an actor and I didn’t care when, where, or how much for.
If you go away on location for three months and your wife stays at home, you’ve made a whole new load of friends and she’s made a whole new load of friends and you get home and you’re kind of strangers.
I felt a tremendous sadness for men who can’t deal with a woman of their own age.
I am in so many movies that are on TV at 2:00 a.m. that people think I am dead.
The best research for playing a drunk is being a British actor for 20 years.
I don’t worry about the last shot or the next shot. I concentrate. Every shot gets a clean slate. And when a shot is over, I wipe it out absolutely. Tell a joke or something. If you worry about how you looked, how well you did, you’ll go insane.
January is the garbage can of movies in America, directly after all the Oscar contenders have been out.
To disappear your complete self into a character is quite difficult. I’ve tried it 85 times, and I’ve succeeded two or three times.
To me, growing old is great. It’s the very best thing – considering the alternative.
A lot of my best parts I’ve been the second choice for, so you never get too egotistical about anything.
I did everything. I ran my life exactly as I wanted to, all the time. I never listened to anybody. I’m pig-headed.
I’m every bourgeois nightmare – a Cockney with intelligence and a million dollars.
I started with the firm conviction that when I came to the end, I wanted to be regretting the things that I had done, not the things I hadn’t.
Anyone can write. But comedy, you’ve got to do some writing. You get one comedy script to every 20 dramas.
I’ve made the transition from star to character actor and I’m thoroughly enjoying it.
If someone is very upper-class, you have a stereotype of him which is probably true. If someone has a working-class accent, you have no idea who you’re talking to.
Books were my window on the world. Growing up at the Elephant and Castle, which was very rough, my paradise was the library.
If you think you’re going to be up for an Oscar, you schedule your moviemaking.
Oh, what a shock. My career must be slipping. This is the first time I’ve been available to pick up an award.
I admired Marlon Brando as I grew up. I though he was one of the finest screen actors around.
The absent are never without fault. Nor the present without excuse.
My wife comes with me on all the movies, but she is not an appendage to a film star or anything like that. She is a completely intertwined partner. She is the other half of me. Also, we’re still very much in love with each other. We always have been, we always will be.
Alfie was the first time I was above the title; the first time I became a star in America.
You can see all sorts of things in film acting if you know where to look and what to look for. One thing I often notice is that the actor is looking for his mark, the place where he has to stand to be in the right place in the shot.
My wife, my daughters, even my grandchildren are funny. You’ve got to keep a sense of humor because anger destroys you.
I see myself as 38, but you don’t notice it.