Aspiring actors may want to skip their next acting class and watch this one-hour masterclass taught by Michael Caine instead. This set-up is a bit unusual — Caine lectures both a group of aspiring actors and a live audience — but the wisdom imparted by the celebrated actor is fundamental for anyone with even a passing interest in the profession.
Caine’s natural charisma has shone through in performances like Alfie, The Man Who Would Be King, Children of Men and most recently, working with Christopher Nolan. This late ’80s documentary (one in a series of BBC specials devoted to the craft) shows Caine could have also been a successful teacher. Among the most interesting lessons the accomplished actor imparts on his students is an ambivalent attitude toward the camera, saying, “Once you’re in front of that camera, nobody exists.”
There are plenty of revealing anecdotes for the actor’s fans to uncover; he discusses his poor screen test for an early role in Zulu, the time commitment that prevented him from pursuing directing, and differences between playing for film and theater. On stardom, Caine’s advice is simple and indicative of his prolific career: “Invent yourself.”
Watch below, thanks to Dangerous Minds:
Any tips you gleaned from Caine?