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Creator / Michael Caine

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He keeps on going and he doesn't blink. Even when wearing enormous glasses.

"My career is going better now than when I was younger. It used to be that I'd get the girl but not the part. Now I get the part but not the girl!"

Some men aren't looking for anything logical like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just wanna describe Michael Caine here.

Sir Maurice Joseph Micklewhite Jr.note  CBE (born 14 March 1933 in Rotherhithe, London), better known to the world as Michael Caine, is an English actor with over a hundred films ranging from Zulu, the Harry Palmer films and Get Carter to the pictures of Christopher Nolan.

Willing to do parts for the money, or for art. He's an elder statesman of acting, being nominated for an Academy Award every decade from the 1960s to the 2000s, sharing the honor only with Jack Nicholson. He won twice for Best Supporting Actor for Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) and The Cider House Rules (1999), and has been nominated for leading roles several times over. Often the source of imitation by many comedians because of his distinct Cockney accent which marked him as noticeably different from other British leading men of the time who tended to use far more polished accents.

Caine has an interest in moving into fictional book authorship, having completed his first novel, If You Don't Want To Die during the COVID-19 lockdown. He officially announced his retirement from acting in October 2023 upon the release of The Great Escaper.

His filmography includes:

    Film roles 

Tropes related to this actor:

  • Actor Allusion: Caine was called up for National Service and served with the Royal Fusiliers in The Korean War. Appropriately enough, his first film role was playing a British soldier in A Hill In Korea.
  • Awesome, Dear Boy: Why he accepted roles in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island and The Muppet Christmas Carol, which he says was a joy to make.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: He's associated with the phrase "Not many people know that." Which, oddly, actually came from Peter Sellers doing a Caine impersonation. Caine himself was given the line to say in Educating Rita as an Actor Allusion.
  • Cool Old Guy: The reason he did Journey 2: The Mysterious Island? He wanted to be in a film where his grandkids can brag about having a grandpa who rode a giant bee.
  • Deadpan Snarker: In all his films.
  • Fake American: In Hurry Sundown,note  The Cider House Rules, and Secondhand Lions.
  • Love at First Sight: He saw Shakira Baksh in an advert for coffee, thought she was the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen, and, believing her to be in Brazil, expressed an intention to go there and find her. He was later put in touch with her by a friend; they married in 1973 and have been together ever since.
  • Money, Dear Boy:
    • The reason he accepted parts in many terrible films like Jaws: The Revenge and On Deadly Ground.
      "First of all, I choose the great roles, and if none of these come, I choose the mediocre ones, and if they don't come, I choose the ones that pay the rent."
    • Caine says that The Swarm (1978) was a combination of this and Awesome, Dear Boy. He was flattered to be asked to appear in an All-Star Cast, and loved working with Hollywood legends like Henry Fonda and Olivia de Havilland even if the film wasn't good. But Caine also confirms in his autobiography that his main motivation was the producers offering him the highest salary of his career, up to that time.
    • He later admitted to regretting not leaving the set of Jaws: The Revenge to accept his Academy Award for Hannah and Her Sisters. By his own account, Caine didn't think he had a chance of winning since the studio did little to promote Hannah and figured he'd earned a paid vacation in the Bahamas. He later "made damn sure I was there" for his next nomination for The Cider House Rules, which paid off when he won.
    • Of Jaws: The Revenge, he once said: "I have never seen it, but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific."
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Whether he's playing a Briton, American, or even a German, Caine rarely drops his trademark Cockney accent. Some films like The Swarm (1978) even include explanations why this ostensibly American character sounds like, well, Michael Caine. Zulu is an exception, where he does a fair upper-class accent.
  • Old Shame:
    • Pretty much the only film Caine actually regrets making is the 1979 drama Ashanti, a heavily sensationalized depiction of the modern slave trade in Africa costarring William Holden and supermodel Beverly Johnson. Caine says that he "loathed every second of it" and that he "felt rotten the whole way through" production, finding the movie racist and grossly exploitative. When an interviewer commented that few people had seen Ashanti (which was a massive Box Office Bomb), Caine responded "let's hope it stays that way."
    • In another interview, Caine lists Ashanti, the obscure spy film The Magus (based on a convoluted novel which he called "impossible to make" into a movie) and, unsurprisingly, The Swarm (1978) as his worst movies.
  • Older Than They Look: He's in his nineties, but looks barely any older today than he did when filming The Muppet Christmas Carol (late fifties).
  • Production Posse: Tellingly, Oppenheimer is the first Nolan film not to feature him at all since Insomnia.
  • Rags to Riches: He came from a working class background.
  • Referenced by...: Pennyworth is practically a love letter to him and his turn as Alfred in The Dark Knight Trilogy. The series' young Alfred (Jack Bannon) has a Cockney accent and working class background, is nicknamed "Alfie", channels Harry Palmer and Jack Carter, and a fictional London avenue is called "Micklewhite".
  • Stage Names: Michael Caine was born Maurice Micklewhite. It got laughs in the audience when his first credit appeared on a film so he took the stage name "Michael Scott". His agent told him over the phone he had to change it again because it was already taken. Looking around the public pay phone in Leicester Square he saw a marquee of a theater playing The Caine Mutiny, and decided to be called Michael Caine. He would joke later that if he looked the other way his name would now be "Michael 101 Dalmatians"!
  • Star-Making Role: The title role of Alfie made him well known internationally, though Zulu really got him noticed.
  • Uncredited Role: He has an uncredited voice-only cameo in Dunkirk.
  • What Could Have Been: Christopher Nolan wanted him to appear in Oppenheimer, but he couldn't move out of the UK for various reasons including his age, and he had scheduling issues with The Great Escaper.