Michael Caine may have made his last film.
After all, he is “bloody 90 now,” he tells The Telegraph.
“I am bloody 90 now, and I can’t walk properly and all that. I sort of am retired now,” he said. “…I don’t have to work to pay the rent.”
If Caine is serious about retirement — it’s something he’s pondered multiple times before, first in the 1990s and then in 2021, each time later changing his mind — his final film will be The Great Escaper, coming out Oct. 6.
Who Does Michael Caine Play in The Great Escaper?
Based on a true story, in The Great Escaper, Caine plays real-life veteran Bernard “Bernie” Jordan, who escaped from a retirement home so he could visit Normandy, France, for the anniversary of D-Day.
Actress Glenda Jackson played his wife. She passed away six months after wrapping filming at age 87.
Caine says her death was “a big shock. She was such a lovely person and had so much more to give.”
It also meant that he didn’t have a buddy to do press with.
“I had to do all the publicity on my own, I didn’t have anybody to help me out. She would have been here with me; it would have been an entirely different interview,” he added.
The two of them had starred together once before in the 1975 film The Romantic Englishwoman.
“We really liked each other,’ Caine said. ‘But it didn’t last in real life because she was a Left-wing socialist, and I’m just an ordinary conservative stuck-in-the-middle. Once the movie ended we never saw each other again, until we met on the set of this one.
“She led an entirely different life from me; we never had any social times together. I never went to the Houses of Parliament for anything, and I’ve been married to Shakira for 50 years, so I wasn’t looking for any lady friends. It’s a shame, because I liked her so much, and I think she liked me. And on this film, we worked very well together and we had fun. I’ve just never been able to fathom why we didn’t meet up in the 48 years between movies.”
The Dark Knight trilogy star is no doubt best known to Millennials as the Alfred to Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne, but he’s best known to previous generations for the 1966 hit Alfie, 1972’s Sleuth, 1975’s The Man Who Would Be King, 1986’s Hannah and Her Sisters, 1988’s Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and many more. His more recent films include 1999’s The Cider House Rules, 2006’s Children of Men, 2006’s The Prestige, and 2015’s Youth.
He explained why The Great Escaper resonated with him so much.
“I just loved the character of Bernie. I thought he was incredible, and it’s so beautifully written. With Covid and all that, I hadn’t done a picture for three years, and I thought I was finished. And I suddenly did it – and had such a wonderful time,” he said.
“I could have been him,” he added, describing his service in the Korean War.
“When I was 19 they sent me to Korea — which was not a very nice idea for your 19th birthday. I wasn’t a big professional soldier, and it wasn’t a big war,” he said.
“The Korean War was like the First World War, we all lived in trenches and fought each other in the dark; but I was still s— scared, as everybody else was. So I understood those things — death and close friends dying and getting injured. I’ve seen a lot of what’s gone on, you know? Unbelievable.”
These days, he’s enjoying his retirement with his wife, Shakira, splitting the time between their flat in Chelsea and their home in Wimbledon.
He also has a new thriller novel coming out. It’s his sixth book, following three memoirs and two almanacs filled with fun facts.
“And I’m very happy with that because it’s something I can do without walking,” he said. “All you need is a chair and a pencil and paper.”
Watch the trailer for The Great Escaper directed by Oliver Parker here.
Main Image: VENICE, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 05: Michael Caine attends the My Generation photo-call during the 74th Venice Film Festival on September 5, 2017 in Venice, Italy. Courtesy of Shutterstock.