Michael Caine is undoubtedly among the most celebrated actors living today, known for his unforgettable work in various projects such as Dressed to Kill and The Dark Knight Trilogy among many others. Even in recent years, Caine has continued to appear in films like Tenet and has not announced his retirement yet.
Born in London, Caine belonged to a working-class background and he began his acting when he was 20. Although his birth name was different, he decided to change it to a proper showbiz name after noticing that The Caine Mutiny was in cinemas at that time. Entering the world of cinema through the 1956 film A Hill in Korea, Caine went on to star in more prominent projects.
Due to his socio-economic background and his subsequent rise, Caine’s political views have remained a conservative even though he describes himself as a “left-wing Tory” and claimed that he had communist sympathies before serving in the Korean war. As a child, he was deeply influenced by Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead which regularly appeals to libertarians and conservatives.
Others around him also recognised Caine’s undeniable talent and knew that he was going to be a big name in the film industry. One interesting encounter took place when Caine visited America for the first time in order to promote his hit film Alfie which established him as a prominent acting star in the US as well.
He went on to receive his first Academy Award nomination and would later cite Alfie as his favourite film from his career but he cherishes the experience because of a conversation with iconic star John Wayne. According to Caine, Wayne congratulated the burgeoning actor and gave him some crucial advice.
Wayne told him: “You’re gonna be a star, kid. But if you wanna stay one, remember this: Talk low, talk slow and don’t say too much.” While that might seem like a relatively tame thing to say to a up-and-coming star, Wayne’s other piece of advice is truly bizarre even though Caine considers it to be the best advice he ever received.
Caine recalled: “John Wayne said, ‘Never wear suede shoes,’ pointing at my shoes. I said, ‘Why not?’ He said, ‘Cause you’re gonna be famous, and you’re gonna be in the toilet taking a piss and the guy next door to you is going to turn and recognise you and piss all over your shoes, kid.’ I gave all my suede shoes away to people who were unknown.”