Michael Caine Quotes

I won an Academy Award for 'The Cider House Rules ' playing an American.

I try to make everyone around me feel comfortable.

I think it would be great for the Academy to recognize old age.

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.

For Cider House Rules I was doing a New England accent.

When I'm doing an accent you shouldn't notice it for a while if I'm doing it right.

Just because I have made a point of never losing my accent it doesn't mean I'm an eel-and-pie yob.

My dialogue coach said to do a Texas accent you lean on the next word and that was the clue to me.

I don't want to be an English actor doing the greatest American accent you've ever heard. I want to be an American doing nothing.

People say I've 'retained' my Cockney accent. I can do any accent but I wanted other working-class boys to know that they could become actors.

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.

My wife my daughters even my grandchildren are funny. You've got to keep a sense of humor because anger destroys you.

I don't see myself as anything. I just wander around getting on with my life.

I need a challenge 'cause I don't get the girl anymore.

I'm not tough anymore I'm 82.

I always say to my wife don't tell anyone I watch this [shows like The X Factor and Pop Idol] but it fascinates me because I've done so many auditions and been knocked back.

I love the start of autumn when the trees in my garden change the colour of their leaves in one last dazzling display.

You start pretending to have fun you might have a little by accident.

Oh what a shock. My career must be slipping. This is the first time I've been available to pick up an award.

I've been on movies where I literally couldn't hear what the other actor was saying. It's very awkward.

For all my education accomplishments and so called 'wisdom'... I can't fathom my own heart.

I have never seen it (Jaws 4) but by all accounts it is terrible. However I have seen the house that it built and it is terrific.

Maybe its time we stop trying to avoid the truth and let it have its day.

Use the difficulties - if you can't avoid them

I didn't know what I knew. I wasn't aware of what I knew.

80 percent of any gang is not there to attack someone. They're there so no one will attack them.

My most useful acting tip came from my pal John Wayne. Talk low talk slow and don't say too much.

Hollywood is a cross between a health farm a recreation center and an insane asylum. It's a company town and I happen to like the company!

Am I a car aficionado? No: for me cars have always been just for transport. I didn't even know anyone who had a car until I was 14 or 15.

Save your money. You're going to need twice as much money in your old age as you think.

When you're a young actor you ring your agent every evening. It's not like when you're in Hollywood where you do one picture a year. You just hope you get a day on television.

January is the garbage can of movies in America directly after all the Oscar contenders have been out.

I'm hoping there's an afterlife. As you get older you hope even more fervently.

In film other actors' performances really are not your concern. If the other actor isn't giving you what you want act as though he were.

I'm not in the Lifetime Achievement area yet-I'm still battling it out in the trenches.

In real life I'm afraid of heights - and people who get moral convictions... Adolf Hitler in London.

I admired Marlon Brando as I grew up. I though he was one of the finest screen actors around.

I am a great admirer of other actors but I never compete with other actors. I always compete with what I did last and I'm my own most vicious critic. So I'm always trying to do it better.

The best research for playing a drunk is being a British actor for 20 years

As an actor I'll play anything.

To me growing old is great. It's the very best thing - considering the alternative.

Every time you get a movie you get a medical. So you know you know you're alright for a couple of weeks.

Ive read an awful lot of books Ive read alot of awful books

I'm the audience's representative on earth.

The Quiet American is anti the people who took them into the Vietnam War.

I wouldn't make an anti-American film. I'm one of the most pro-American foreigners I know. I love America and Americans.

In my day the drug was alcohol and the weapon was a fist so it was very sort of innocent and primitive. Now you've got drugs guns and knives which are so lethal.

Alfie was the first time I was above the title; the first time I became a star in America.

You don't make any money when you're my age. The stars get it all. That's a lie actually.

My circle of friends are not actors at all. None of them are actors really because they're are not available. They're always off somewhere.

The three actors I admire the most are all dead. Humphrey Bogart Spencer Tracy and the French actor Jean Gabin. They're all very natural sort of masculine without being overly macho.

Growing up there was only classical music on BBC Radio. We had to listen to the American Forces Network in Germany which played pop songs or the pirate radio boats off the coast.

Youre only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!

Comedy is underrepresented in every actor's life because it's so bloody difficult to write.

I'd never been in one of those great big blockbusters.

Nobody did a campaign for me. I was nominated out of the blue and won out of the blue. So that was it.

My career is going better now than when I was younger. Now I get the part. Back then I'd get the girl.

When becoming a character you have to steal. Steal whatever you see. You can even steal from other actors' characterizations; but if you do only steal from the best.

A lot of my best parts I've been the second choice for so you never get too egotistical about anything.

If you held a pistol at my head I couldn't tell you who they're going to vote for Best Actor.

I'm not a betting man and even if I was I certainly wouldn't bet on this! I would not bet on the Best Actor.

When I was 6 my father went to fight in the war so he was my big hero. I thought he was the greatest thing.

I'm very very family oriented. I'm a big cook and a good connoisseur and I only drink very good red wines now.

If I see any injustice done I have a big enough mouth and the position to open up about it.

When you're a movie star and you're young you are always playing someone who's a better fighter a better lover a better everything than you.

...some men aren't looking for anything logical like money. They can't be bought bullied reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.

We can only use British actors because everybody's got to talk exactly the same.

I feel that I helped the working class by just saying there are no barriers which I consider to be true.

Don't sit as if you have nothing to say. You should be bursting with things to say. You just choose at this particular place and time not to say them.

I've always got to have one impossible dream on the back burner.

Some men just want to watch the world burn

I'm a sort of boy next door. If that boy has a good scriptwriter.

I'm every bourgeois nightmare - a Cockney with intelligence and a million dollars.

I spent my entire time reading books and going to the cinema just to escape.

I spent my life in the library reading books.

Books were my window on the world. Growing up at the Elephant and Castle which was very rough my paradise was the library.

I've had such a great time I'd like to come back as me - and do it all over again.

I want to stick around with the big boys. I don't want to be in the old folks home.

Be patient.Of course it will come. It took me years to get an Oscar.

I don't have any regrets because I'm very optimistic and live each day as though it's the last.

If you're blond as I am and you have blond lashes you have to wear mascara otherwise you're invisible on stage.

I come from the slums; I come from a hard background; I come from a poor family; and I was a soldier.

Obsession is a young man's game.

If you're a leading actor you don't work with another actor. You work with a lady.

I'm doing the next Batman. I have to become obsessed about what is offered to me.

About Superman and Batman: the former is how America views itself the latter darker character is how the rest of the world views America.

My view of actors is that basically they're all harmless lunatics who'd be on the psychiatrist's couch.

The basic rule of human nature is that powerful people speak slowly and subservient people quickly - because if they don't speak fast enough nobody will listen to them.

I read books like mad but I am careful to to let anything I read influence me.

I don't think human beings are bad. They're weak. And that's what makes 'em bad.

I spent 30 years of my life not being wanted at all for films.

I'll always be there because I'm a skilled professional actor. Whether or not I've any talent is beside the point.

If I work with a bad actor my reaction is to immediately become worse than they are.

It's funny people ask me 'What would you consider the most romantic track on your record Mr Caine?' And I say 'Swollen' by Bent and they say 'I think he's off his rocker!'

There's quite a lot of bad stuff written about me. My wife even says a lot of bad stuff about me. But she is wonderful.

Do I believe in God? Yes I do. When you've had a life like mine you have to.

You have to remember I never became successful or wealthy till I was 30.

Be like a duck. Calm on the surface but always paddling like the dickens underneath.

I'm always slightly envious of people who become extremely rich without anyone knowing who the hell they are like financiers.

You get paid the same for a bad film as you do for a good one.

When you reach the top that's when the climb begins.

If you're a gardener you don't need a gym. You're always carrying large sacks of manure all over.

No English director would've cast me as an officer I promise you. Not one.

By the time the Oscars are on I'll be seventy. How many more chances am I going to have to get nominated for an Oscar?

How can I change me to suit the script?

I've made the transition from star to character actor and I'm thoroughly enjoying it.

I've always played very human sort of characters.

I'm very much more choosy now. I do stuff that I really really really like.

At age 11 I went to a Jewish school. I speak Yiddish. I'm Church of England Protestant. My father was Catholic and my mother was Protestant. My wife is a Muslim.

I am often asked which of my films has come closest to my own ideal of performance and I always answer 'Educating Rita.'

I don't meet stockbrokers or carpenters or coal miners; I spend all day with actors composers and photographers.

In England I was a Cockney actor. In America I was an actor.

One of the main things about Cockney is you speak at twice the speed as Americans. Americans speak very slow.

Anyone can write. But comedy you've got to do some writing. You get one comedy script to every 20 dramas.

I'm a frustrated stand-up comic. If you hand me a microphone and I get one laugh then I'll go on for 20 minutes.

There is no point in competing with young talent...I just concentrate on getting better each day.

I'm forever testing myself. As a person and as an actor I have no sense of competition.

Acting is not a competition; everything must be done for the good of the film or else everybody loses.

Let me put it this way: If you're sitting in a movie and you're watching me and you say 'Isn't that Michael Caine a wonderful actor?' then I've failed.

I told him that the lawyers were always saying 'You can't say that you'll get sued.' He said to me 'Write fiction Michael you can tell the truth.' (Kirk Douglas to Michael Caine)

I wear a baseball cap all the time which I would never normally wear and I walk very fast.

It's vital to have your own space so you aren't constantly in each other's pockets.

If you're a movie actor you're on your own - you cannot control the stage. The director controls it.

Movie actors earn their living and learn their craft through listening and reacting.

One of the great things with comedy is that there's no such thing as a mediocre comedy; it's either uproarious or crap. That's the problem.

The first thing I'll do if I want to look really crappy is I don't wear any makeup at all.

You're never too old to be crazy.

Nobody's a criminal to himself. I never play a criminal like a bad person.

I've never been competitive with other actors. I've been competitive with myself and I'm my own worst critic a terrible critic I am and unless I get something right I feel very unhappy.

And to Tom Cruise for if you had won this your asking price would have gone down so fast. Do you have any idea what supporting actors get paid? We get only one trailer a small one in the back.

There's only two things I hate in this world. People who are intolerant of other people's cultures and the Dutch.

I don't want to sound like Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells but I do think there should be some sort of national service for young men.

I'm looking for me to disappear and the acting to disappear and all you see is a real person.

I've been in every disco in the world. I saw a picture of my wife Shakira and I dancing in Studio 54; I didn't even know someone had taken that picture.

No matter what the reason if you start to scream and shout you look a fool and you feel a fool and you earn the disrespect of everyone.

I've never taken drugs - if you take a drug of your choice you get some ecstatic feeling.

I learn the whole time. I think it would be dull if I thought I was going to work and wouldn't find something new. We always learn.

I regard the theater as a woman I loved dearly who treated me like dirt.

I am in so many movies that are on TV at 2:00 a.m. that people think I am dead.

I felt a tremendous sadness for men who can't deal with a woman of their own age.

It's a lesson in life"?don't look back you'll trip over.

I don't do it often but I do cry. I also laugh a lot; people tell me I'm funny and I do like to laugh.

Great acting is about listening to what they are saying ....not waiting to deliver your lines.

In my opinion everybody is getting older and older. We have a great deal of dementia because nobody grew old enough to get it.

I just try to play more and more difficult roles.

I didn't want to come in the movie every so often every 20 minutes saying 'Dinner is served would you like coffee?'

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.

Obsession is a young man's game and my only excuse is that I never grew old.

I always exposed the weakness rather than the nastiness.

My mum never understood how much I earned. When I told her I earned a million pounds a film she said 'How much is that?'

At 69 I got the girl! And it wasn't a 68-year-old girl either.

The trouble with women? Elbows.

I don't like getting up early in the morning and learning all that stuff. I work with offers that I can't refuse.

I usually control the environment I'm in but my control is very quiet and subtle.

I feel like 35. At 35 you're old enough to know something and young enough to look forward to what you can do with the knowledge. So I stayed at 35!

English is clipped in speech. Texas is exactly the opposite.

This is your life Larry. Learn to enjoy what you've got.

I don't have to work. I suppose I should retire. But I enjoy working.

I don't have to work really but I do enjoy working and I do enjoy getting paid.

I enjoy making people laugh. The trick is to tell them jokes against yourself. If you praise yourself your stories aren't funny.

Things are not quite what they seem always. Don't start me on class otherwise you'll get a four-hour lecture.

Funny things happen to you in movies for silly reasons.

Not only is acting more than a part-time job it's more than a full-time job. It's a full-time obsession.

I have a knack of making villainous people a little bit sympathetic a bit of fun on screen.

I don't think you retire from movies; movies retire you.

You don't retire from the movies. The movies retire you.

I prefer to remake flops. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels was a remake of a flop and The Quiet American is a remake of a flop.

My view is that you should always remake failures because then you've got nowhere to go but up.

That to me is what my idea of film acting should be. There shouldn't be any acting. You should just be watching a real person.

I'm the happiest grandfather in the world I promise you.

A lot of movie stars are not great actors; they're just very good-looking. And when they start to age and they don't have the looks any more then it's over.

There are loads of black actors.You can't say: I'm going to vote for him he's not very good but he's black [so] I'll vote for him. You've got to give a good performance.

The old guys like me started in the theatre. I was in the theatre for nine years.

A man's body may grow old but inside his spirit can still be as young and as restless as ever.

Do you know that the harder thing to do and the right thing to do are usually the same thing? Nothing that has meaning is easy "Easy" doesn't enter into grown-up life.

I just love to go home no matter where I am the most luxurious hotel suite in the world I love to go home.

My own mentality is that I've retired. They send me these scripts and if I absolutely have to do it then I go to work.

In my early days I didn't know what a good film or a bad film was and I was trying to make some money. As it happens I was lucky. I made some good films.

A man should dress in a way that you don't notice. He looks good and you don't know why. But it's the tailoring the materials and the clothes.

I learned about life before I went into the theater which is why I've been so happy. I was a soldier.

I did everything. I ran my life exactly as I wanted to all the time. I never listened to anybody. I'm pig-headed.

Hey I always say: if you want a quiet life become a monk.

You're your first best audience long before anybody else hears you. So don't be an easy audience. Keep asking for more.

The standing ovation threw me... to be held in such regard in a town so full of talent is quite something.

You don't sacrifice your individuality; you sacrifice a lot of freedom.

I never listened to the people who said I should give it up which is the main advice I got.

I've always loved reprehensible people because they're so much more interesting to play on screen.

To be a movie star you have to invent yourself.

I don't work very much and I just sit here waiting for a script that I can't refuse - and I'm not talking about money.

I see myself as 38 but you don't notice it.

The first actor I ever saw was The Lone Ranger. I thought That's what I want to do.

I sit waiting for things that I can't refuse.

I just work in order to improve myself as an actor which is what I've always done.

I had been in that part of the world as a soldier in Korea so I had been interested in Vietnam.

If you put someone on screen long enough they become the hero.

Theater acting is an operation with a scalpel movie acting is an operation with a laser

Wherever I live if there isn't a restaurant I want to go to of a certain type then I open it. That's all. For selfish reasons.

The difference between a movie star and a movie actor is this - a movie star will say 'How can I change the script to suit me?' and a movie actor will say. 'How can I change me to suit the script?'

I never bring a role home with me. The moment they say 'It's a wrap ' it's gone completely. I'm a totally ruthless professional and life is my family not my work.

I've done my job and I've got the picture out there and I'm very happy with it.

If you think you're going to be up for an Oscar you schedule your moviemaking.

To be a movie star you have to carry a movie. And to carry a movie where you play the title role is the supreme example.

I've got a lot of back-up because my father was a Catholic my mother was a Protestant I was educated by Jews and I'm married to a Muslim. So I won't lose out on a technicality.

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.

I've never been out with a married woman never. I respect others properties.

I used to get the girl; now I get the part. In 'The Quiet American' you may have noticed I got the part and the girl. It's a milestone for me because it's the last time I'm going to get the girl.

God willing even I might scrape a nomination.

I regard myself as someone who is retired but who occasionally goes out to work. In fact I'm offered so much good stuff that it's not so occasional.

I think life has got to develop as you get older and I don't want to be wandering along doing the same old thing. I want more out of life.

I have been rich and I have been poor. I know which one I prefer.

I had an extraordinary belief in myself. For years people told me to give it up and even though I was poverty- stricken I never thought I should give it up.

Sometimes in a part everything comes together.

My understanding of women goes only as far as the pleasures.

I was a repertory actor which meant that I did a play every week. I was a different character every week; for a year I was doing 40 or 50 characters.

You can write shorthand and still look at the guy you're talking to.

But the whole point of the Sixties was that you had to take people as they were. If you came in with us you left your class and colour and religion behind that was what the Sixties was all about.

You can't get blase about something you haven't done yet.

We should vote for the welfare of the country not for the welfare of the party.

A lot of people said Who do you think you are? I told them I know exactly who I am and I'll tell you exactly where I'm going.