Michael Caine is one of my favourite actors. My earliest memories of his work are from my childhood and centre around Sleuth and Deathtrap – both of which, coincidentally, began on the stage.
Since those days I have grown to love a lot more of his output. In fact, Alfie (his best film), inspired one of my earliest email addresses, which would probably still be accessible if I could remember the password.
Reading this biography, I quickly realised that although I have seen a lot of his movies, I’ve definitely missed many others – a lot of which are, by his own admission, complete stinkers. But even if the production is bad, Caine never is. He’s a dependable performer and always a believable presence on screen.
This autobiography came out in 2010, and although he has made a handful of movies since, this covers the vast majority of his output, from his breakout performance in Zulu, right through to his supporting role in the Batman trilogy.
But it’s not just the movies he talks about. There are plenty of pages devoted to his wife Shakira, and how they met; his love of cooking; and his life growing up in the Elephant and Castle. And in typical Cockney fashion, he’s a good storyteller, so I was happy to go on all the journeys with him.
If you like Sir Michael (although he doesn’t want you to call him that) this is a good look behind the curtain into one of Britain’s most celebrated actors.