Michael Caine, who has portrayed an array of characters over his six-decade career as an actor, often gets flack for taking on roles that are simply extended versions of himself. However, after the Cannes viewing of the film Youth, the 82-year-old insisted that his latest role made him completely “unrecognizable” and that the character portrayed is a far leap from others he has taken on.
Caine spoke with Reuters following the premiere of the film and explained his intentions whenever he accepts a role in film as well as how he feels the character portrayed within Youth is far removed from his own life.
“The challenge that I put myself, and always have done, is ‘How can I do a character who’s as far away from me as possible? In this, a classical music composer and conductor was about as far from me — a cockney rough-house who was the son of a Billingsgate fish market porter…(as) I’ve ever played. You cannot spot me in it, you cannot see me, you only see him.”
Within the film, which is directed by Paulo Sorrentino, Caine plays the role of a a “musician having a late-life crisis at a posh Swiss resort.”
Caine stars alongside Harvey Keitel in this ode to youth and friendship, which has been met with excitement and praise. The Independent notes an overview of the film’s plot.
“Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel star in this beautiful ode to music and cinema. They play friends of 60 years standing, who are enjoying a stay at a hotel in the foothills of the Alps. Retired composer Fred Ballinger (Caine) and film director Mick Boyle (Harvey Keitel) discuss old flames, their children, and the activities of the assortment of guests holidaying in Switzerland.”
The film has been praised as being like a symphony itself and one which peers into the mind of the director, Paulo Sorrentino. Caine is clearly extremely proud of the outcome of the film and his own part in playing a role so distant from his own life.
Michael Caine then went on to reveal past triumphs and would-be triumphs in regards to his film career in sharing that he was a close friend of Orson Welles and that the pair had a wonderful idea for a film based on an English play called The Dresser. Caine shared his humble frustration with Reuters in regards to the intentions he had with Wellles to undertake this project.
“It was done by Albert Finney and Tom Courtenay, very well I might say. But Orson and I wanted to do that, they had already bought the film rights. And I think that is the best picture I never made.”
All can agree, however, that Michael Caine has been a part of some remarkable pictures, and Youth is one more to be added to the British actors long list of achievements.
[Feature image via 680 News]