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Wednesday's Connector: Michael Caine

October 25th, 2010
11:58 AM ET

Before he became Sir Michael Caine, he was merely Maurice Micklewhite.

Michael Caine is your Connector of the Day.
Michael Caine is your Connector of the Day.

The London born actor has come a long way since his humble beginnings. Leaving school at 15, he worked a run of odd jobs before joining the army.

The time away made Michael realize his true passion - acting. On his return, he joined a theater and took on the stage name Caine for extra cache.

In 1964, he was signed up to battle blockbuster "Zulu, but the lead role in "Alfie" – set in swinging 60s London – really rocketed Caine to global fame.

Caine had to wait until the mid-80s for his first Oscar though: in "Hannah and Her Sisters." His second Oscar came in "The Cider House Rules" in 1999. Dial forward to the 21st Century, and Caine’s still delivering the goods.

He’s formed a formidable duo with director Christopher Nolan, acting in Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and Inception.

As one of only two actors in the world nominated for an Oscar every decade from the 1960s til now (the other is Jack Nicholson) Caine is clearly an actor for every century.

Here's your chance to ask Michael Caine your questions.

Please leave them below and be sure to include where you're writing from.

soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Robert Simpson

    Mr. Caine, what character archetype do you feel you play the best?

    October 25, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Reply
  2. Jurgen R. Brul

    Hello Sir Michael Caine (Maurice Joseph Micklewhite) and CNN friends,

    I would like an answer from Michael Caine on the following questions:

    – How do personally you and as leading actor in the film Harry Brown STOP YOUNG CRIME in the United Kingdom?

    – When will we hear your latest music album called Cained 2?

    – What can we expect from you in 2011?

    I am awaiting Michael Caine’s replies.

    Greetings,
    Jurgen R. Brul
    Hometown: Paramaribo
    Country: Suriname

    October 25, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Reply
  3. Jurgen R. Brul

    Hello Sir Michael Caine (Maurice Joseph Micklewhite) and CNN friends,

    I would like an answer from Michael Caine on the following questions:

    – How do personally you and as leading actor in the film Harry Brown STOP YOUTH CRIME in the United Kingdom?

    – When will we hear your latest music album called Cained 2?

    – What can we expect from you in 2011?

    I am awaiting Michael Caine’s replies.

    Greetings,
    Jurgen R. Brul
    Hometown: Paramaribo
    Country: Suriname

    October 25, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Reply
  4. Dan Barron

    You are one of my very favorite actors. If you're in a film, that's enough for me to want to see it. Some iconic roles (The Italian Job, Alfie, Get Harry) and many less well-known but wonderful ones (The Statement springs to mind–excellent film.)

    You've had such a long and varied career, I guess my question would be, how do you choose your roles? What about a script/role/project makes you say, "Yes, I want to part of this"?

    October 25, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Reply
  5. Dan Barron

    Ack! I meant Get *Carter*. Got it mixed up with Harry Brown, another great film/role. Please correct it!

    October 25, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Reply
  6. Steve Mancour

    Sir Michael,

    If you hadn't gone into acting, where do you think you would be now and what would you be doing?

    Do you do cameos in independent low budget films?

    How do you think that your success has changed you for the better and the worse over your career?

    Do you prefer theatre, film, or television and why?

    Thank you for your answers and consideration.
    Steve

    October 25, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Reply
  7. Barbara Anne Coll

    Hey there, kindly Sir,

    I would like to know if you are married now. We are about the same age and thought I would check up on it.

    Barbie

    October 25, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Reply
  8. Charlie Malikian

    I can still remember the moment in "Alfie" when you woke up in bed and put on your glasses ... you made wearing glasses very hip ... I've always wondered if you realized the significance of that scene in that context? Looking forward to your response. Thank you.

    October 25, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Reply
  9. Anthony St. John

    25 October MMX

    Mr Caine, do you think Tony Blair is a seminarian whose candle drips on the floor?

    Cordially...

    ASJ

    http://www.scribd.com/thewordwarrior

    October 25, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Reply
  10. tpn51

    Sir Michael Caine
    From all the movies you made, which one do you like most and what actor/actress did you most like working with?

    Every movie I've seen you in has always been a pleasure. I'm a big fan.

    October 25, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Reply
  11. Keira

    I'd like to ask Mr. Caine...it's been said a lot that "being a woman of a certain age in Hollywood is tough", how is it being a man (of a certain age) in Hollywood? It doesn't seem like men have trouble finding roles, yet women do, why is there such a discrepancy?

    Thanks!

    Keira
    NY

    October 25, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Reply
  12. Efrain

    Sir: Do you miss the young beautifull ladies?

    San Juan, Puerto Rico

    October 25, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Reply
  13. Edward Jones

    Dear Michael,
    Your "Cider House Rules" was absolutely magnificent! Will you be doing at least one more rolde whereby you are in a leadership capacity? Thank you Edward

    October 25, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  14. Michael

    Michael what where your most memorable moments whilst filming, The Man Who Would Be King ? And which of all your female co-stars would you say you had the best on screen and off screen chemistry with and why ?

    October 25, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Reply
  15. Tracey Reitz

    Dear Sir Michael,
    I am a 40 years young aussie (originally from Melbourne) now living in Lixfeld Germany:) I love the work you did in 'Educating Rita', because your character brought out the best in Rita, you made her believe in herself. I Also love the muppets christmas caroI, because of the way Scrooge interacts with the muppets. Its a scream to watch each christmas:)
    Now for my question. I was wondering what you thought of the young actors these days, and the pressures of being in the spotlight. Was it the same for you when you were starting out? I am thinking of Lindsay Lohan, Macaulay Culkin for example. Is the public asking/demanding more of actors in recent years, or was there in the earlier years a greater accountability towards the way people in the public eye conduct themselves?
    Thankyou for reading this, have a merry christmas, and no Humbug!!
    regards, Tracey

    October 25, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Reply
  16. Michael Schweitzer

    Mr. Caine:

    Do you love acting, or has it simply become a well paying job?

    Do you prefer to work with very experience actors, or is it okay to work with newer talent? I mean, is it easier to act with a major talent ( the Brando's, Olivier's, Caine's of the world) and harder to work with less trained actors?

    Do newer actors have the proper training?

    Will you ever make another acting instructional tape? (your first was fantastic!)

    October 25, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Reply
  17. Michael Schweitzer

    sorry, forgot to say I was writing from Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

    October 25, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Reply
  18. Jon Ross

    Dear Sir Caine,

    First of all, you are one of my all-time favourite actors.

    Enough with the sucking up.

    In Harry Brown, you proved yourself to be one tough old bugger; when are you going to use those superpowers to rid the world of really irritating people like Sarah Pahlin, people who wear tights and don't need to (and definitely shouldn't), our very own Julius Malema, and, in particular, Richard Simmons?

    After all, there are more pressing matters than world hunger and nuclear holocaust.

    From South Africa with love, and a sincere hope for more talented people like thyself in the public space.

    October 25, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Reply
  19. Saadiqa Khan

    Good day, Sir Michael Caine. I found your performance in 'Quills" as Dr. Royer-Collard exceptional and masterfully executed. What was it like acting with Geoffery Rush, who was your 'nemesis' in the movie?

    October 25, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Reply
  20. Saadiqa Khan

    Oh, I forgot to add, I am writing from Trinidad in the West Indies.

    October 25, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Reply
  21. William Franklin

    I was a small child when I first saw you in "Zulu" and I still think that was your best overall role. Liked your role in others that involved murder mysteries but you stood out in the Biritish redcoat with the white hat in Zulu!

    October 25, 2010 at 3:37 pm | Reply
  22. Michael K. Ferris

    Mr. Caine:

    I have been a fan of your movies forever. I have a favor to ask, however. Is there anything you can do to get "Funeral In Berlin" and the original "Sleuth" on DVD in the North American format? I can only find these films on the British format, and they are prohibitivly expensive. Good luck and hope you get the Best Actor Oscar someday.

    October 25, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Reply
  23. Bruce Sykes

    Mr. Caine,
    Is passion the driving force?

    October 25, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Reply
  24. Chris in Budapest

    You've been impersonated famously by Harry Enfield with a well known line. So could you please just say "My name is Michael Caine"

    October 25, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Reply
  25. Chris in Budapest

    You were famously part of the 60's London celebrity scene. Some say the 60's was more a consumerist revolution rather than a social or liberal revolution. What was it to you?

    October 25, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Reply
  26. Chris in Budapest

    You endorsed David Cameron and the Conservatives in the 2009 UK elections. How do you think they are doing?

    October 25, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Reply
  27. Derek Van Wagner

    Dear Mr. Caine,

    In many of your movies you have portrayed the perfect gentleman, so allow me to ask, what is your preferred beverage of choice?

    October 25, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Reply
  28. Leina

    Sir Michael, I just want to let you know that you are the best and the greatest british actor of all time. Better than Albert Finney, better than Anthony Hopkins.

    What was the role that you enjoyed playing the most?

    October 25, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Reply
  29. Fred in ATL

    I saw you in the Ipcress File then in The man who would be king and
    the Italian Job....then I said this guy can act.

    Then I heard that you married this beautiful woman from Guyana and then I said not only could this guy act but he also has great taste in women. You are in a class all by yourself. Thanks for the roles you play.

    October 25, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Reply
  30. Patsy Gasperetti

    Sir Michael:
    What do you think was your best film? For me it was the original "Sleuth," which you did with Sir Lawrence Olivier.

    Patsy

    October 25, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Reply
  31. Peter Revere

    Who is(was) your favorite American actor? (Southern US)

    October 25, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Reply
  32. frances

    y did u choose d name caine?

    October 25, 2010 at 9:14 pm | Reply
  33. Bledsoe

    Mike, come on down to Austin, TX. I am old and retired and I need someone to help me troll the bars. It might help. I think we might be able to score using your fame and wit. Just call Casey Monahan, the governor's music czar. He has my number. Austin will love you. Oh, yeah, the question. Can you play a guitar?

    October 25, 2010 at 10:17 pm | Reply
  34. Krishna Desiraju, Bangalore India

    Sir Michael, love the sophistication you bring to your films. The Quiet American was just lovely. How difficult was it to sing as Ebenezer Scrooge?

    October 26, 2010 at 5:49 am | Reply
  35. Neil

    Maurice,

    what is the secret of your finesse as Michael caine ? you seem ageless! what do you say to yourself when you play a scene? how do you get into the character? what do you like most about being sir Caine
    are Sir Caine and Maurice different people?

    October 26, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Reply
  36. Greg

    Am great fan of your movies and career.
    What line from your films gets quoted back to yo the most?
    And if yo have a favourite which is it?

    October 26, 2010 at 8:45 pm | Reply
  37. Etido john

    Why do u lik ur career. What makes u feel its d best 4 u. Wen r we expectin ur caine 2 album. Feverishly waitin 4 ur reply.

    October 27, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Reply
  38. Salisu

    I wath to be your freind becouse i wath to be army

    October 27, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Reply
  39. sampson

    Of all the movies which is your best you have ever acted ?

    October 27, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Reply
  40. hetty schliessler-ramdhani

    Sir,
    I am a former protocol officer in suriname and in l967 I showed the former miss British Guyna, Shakira Baksh around in Suriname,
    so when I saw you in connecting I immediately rememberred your queen,

    please say hello and that i remember her as a stylisch and pleasant person,

    hetty ramdhani, married schliessler, living in the netherlands.

    October 28, 2010 at 10:24 am | Reply
  41. wayne martin

    AWESOME Michael Caine interview ... and he talks about "the dark knight rises" http://bit.ly/kCD6Ck

    June 20, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Reply

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