A Sequel To Success
GQ South Africa|February 2019
A Sequel To Success

WHAT’S A MAN TO DO WHEN HE’S WRITTEN A SUCCESSFUL AUTOBIOGRAPHY but then accidentally goes on to enjoy another few decades of his career, win an Academy Award, appear in Christopher Nolan’s Batman films, and have a few epiphanies about work, the world and society at large? If that man is Michael Caine, he gets right back to writing, and creates Blowing the Bloody Doors Off

Cayleigh Bright

GQ: Many of the memories you share in Blowing the Bloody Doors Off are warm, fond ones. Would you call this a nostalgic book?

MC: Oh, yes. I was in a bit of a quandary: when I was about 60, I got a script and I sent it back saying the part was too small. He sent it back, saying, ‘I didn’t want you to read the lover, I wanted you to read the father.’ And so suddenly I realised I was at that age and it was all over, and I retired to Miami and bought a restaurant, and decided to write my autobiography, The Elephant to Hollywood, and that was that. But while I was there, Jack Nicholson was there, and we became friends. Then one day he came to me and said ‘I’m going to do a movie, and I’ve got the script, with a part for you in it.’ And I said, well, I’m not the star of the movie, I’m an actor now, a leading character actor, and no longer the romantic star who got the girl and all that stuff. So I did it, and I went on to win an Oscar for The Cider House Rules, make six wonderful pictures with Chris Nolan, and I’m still working – I’m 85.

And I thought, I wonder how many people make that mistake, of retiring, you know? And I had this whole other fabulous life of 20 years of movies after I retired, you know. And I thought, well, I’ve done an autobiography, everyone knows who I am, where I came from, all that. I decided to write a book that was more philosophical than anything. I’ve got to record the pictures that I did, you know, it’s part of my life – but I didn’t do where I was born or how tall I was or anything like that, because you already know that.

GQ: Were the encouraging tone and positive mood of your book intentional, or is that simply who you are?


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February 2019