At 90 years old, Michael Caine is reflecting on his extraordinary life and career ahead of the release of what he has implied might be his last film.
During a recent interview with The Telegraph, the Oscar-winning English actor opens up about his role in The Great Escaper, in which he stars opposite Glenda Jackson, who died at 87 in June, just months after filming ended.
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The Oliver Parker-directed film is based on the true story of a British World War II veteran, Bernard Jordan (Caine), who escapes from his care home to attend the 70th anniversary of the D-Day celebrations in France.
“I was so happy to do it,” Caine told the outlet. “I just loved the character of Bernie. I thought he was incredible, and it’s so beautifully written.”
Caine said he thought he was finished with acting since he hadn’t done a film in three years due to COVID-19, but then he got the opportunity to play Bernard and “suddenly did it — and had such a wonderful time.”
Although he admitted that playing the role was quite challenging physically. “They gave me a very good walking stick, and I was able to do scenes that needed that. I’d just do them once, and then fall over,” he explained. “But just one take, and that’s it. Forget it.”
Later during the interview, when asked about retirement, Caine said he’s “sort of” retired now. “I am bloody 90 now, and I can’t walk properly and all that,” he added.
If The Great Escaper does mark Caine’s last film, it would follow a decades-long career in the industry with more than 100 credits, including The Dark Knight, The Prestige, The Cider House Rules, The Quiet American and more.
“I’ve had the best possible life I could have thought of,” he later said. “The best possible wife, and the best possible family. They may not be a family that other people would say is the best possible family — but the best possible family for me.”
As for what he would like to be remembered for, he said, “The fact that I remained an actor all my life, and I never went into anything else. I never left, I never wanted to leave.”
Caine previously clarified in 2021 that he would not be closing out his acting career after making a statement on the BBC Radio program Kermode and Mayo that seemingly suggested his role in Best Sellers might be his last.
The Great Escaper is set to be released Oct. 6.
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