December 21, 2014 
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Michael Caine talks BATMAN 3. Thinks Riddler could be the Villian
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Written by Sheila Roberts


I caught up today with Sir Michael Caine while he was promoting his new film, "Is Anybody There" in Los Angeles and asked him if Chris Nolan had talked to him about reprising his role as Alfred in the next Batman - which is rumored to be in the works for a summer 2010 start.


The big thing he said was that he thinks The Riddler is going to be the villain in the film. While thatís not confirmed, as we all know, anything Batman related is big news.


He also chatted with us about what his friend and co-star, Heath Ledgerís Academy Award win for Best Supporting Actor in Dark Knight meant to him as well as his surprise at Christian Bale dropping the f-bomb on the Terminator Salvation set last summer. Hereís what he had to tell us:


Q: Your character is a retired magician. Have you ever thought about retiring?


MC: In life? No, because I think films retire you -- sometimes, if youíre unfortunate, after your first film. This is about my 101st film. See, what happens is you say, ďIím going to retire,Ē and then David Heyman turns up and gives you this script so youíre not retiring. ďWell do this one.Ē And they just did it again. I didnít work for 15 months after this picture. This was quite a long time ago. They saved it. They wanted it to come out this April. Then I just did a picture called Harry Brown in which I played a lead which is unusual for someone my age. Youíre usually a character like I am in Batman. You know, Iím the butler, Iím not Batman. (Laughs) So, these things turn up and you just canít refuse them. I mean, I donít have my next movie. Iím not looking for one. Someone may give me a script possibly and I will work again. If someone doesnít give me a script I want to do, Iím retired, but there wonít be some great announcement or fanfare or trumpets. I just wonít do anything. Iíll stay at home and do what I do there which is cooking, gardening and writing and traveling.


Q: You talk about when Hollywood chooses to retire an actor, why do you think it hasnít retired you?


MC: I have no idea. You donít know when your time is up so to speak. There just goes a period of time when the right scripts donít arrive. And it hasnít happened to me yet. It might have happened now. I finished this last picture, as I said. I donít have another picture to do. If a script doesnít come, then I wonít do anything and Iíll be retired. There wonít be any announcement or anything. I remember MacArthur saying ďOld soldiers donít die. They fade away.Ē Well, old actors donít die. They fade away.


Q: Are you not expecting there to be a third Batman?


MC: Well Christopher is doing a picture called Inception with Leonardo DiCaprio which I saw on the Internet. So I imagine another Batman is quite a long way away.


Q: What kinds of films and roles are you drawn to at this point in your career? Is it smaller films?


MC: Itís just the writing. Like Dark Knight, I chose a long time ago with Batman Begins but that was because of Christopher Nolan. But also, on this film, this John Crowley who is a brilliant young Irish director that I saw two small films that he did and I loved them. And then on Harry Brown, thereís a young English director called Daniel Barber and I saw a small film that he did. He actually got nominated for an Academy Award for that film and I forget the bloody title (The Tonto Woman). I like working with younger directors as Iím going to do these small films. A young director can get a chance in a small, cheap film. He canít get a chance in a big one.


Q: Werenít you signed for 3 Batmans?


MC: Yes, if they do another one, Iíll probably be the butler. I hope Iím still alive. Michael Goth, who played Batman before me, the last time he played in Batman he was 84.


Q: Didnít Christopher Nolan do this the last time also? He wanted to make another film in between?


MC: He did. I was in that too. The Prestige. (Laughs) Christopher doesnít make pictures without me.


Q: Do you think heíll come around to doing a third one?


MC: I would imagine so. That would be probably The Riddler.


Q: What did Heath Ledgerís victory at the Oscars mean to you in terms of his legacy?


MC: I thought it was very important for his family as well.  I was a big fan of his from the first time I met him. Iíd never met him before. I met him on the set where he invades the party weíre having. Iím standing in front of the lift and Iím expected to greet people and thereís all these gangs behind him and he came in. But, before that, Iíd met him obviously on the set and we were chatting. He had this make-up on and I was saying how fantastic I thought it was. We were just chatting quietly and then they said, ďWeíre ready to shoot.Ē And I had never seen the performance. We were just talking, you know. And then he came out the elevator and I was absolutely stunned by the way he did it and the energy that went into it. And then when I saw the movie, thereís an opening monologue and a closing monologue that he does which I felt if anybodyís going to better that and get an Academy Award above him, I would pay good money to see that and nobody did beat him. Iím so pleased.


Q: That will be a tough act to follow for anyone who plays the Riddler though?


MC: Yeah, I thought it would be a tough act to follow for anybody who played against The Joker after Jack Nicholson. (Laughs) You know what Iím saying? Heath is The Joker. Weíll see.


Q: Since your producer on this does the Harry Potter movies, is there any chance of you showing up in 6 or 7?


MC: Yeah, David Heyman. Me? No, I think I would have been there before if theyíd wanted me. I that think theyíre all set in their ways and that David and I have this little section. We do the little ones. I hope he gets another script like this. I mean, not like this, but this type of thing.


Q: Youíve done 3 films with Christian Bale and he caught some attention forÖ


MC: Yeah, that stunned me, that did, because heís not like that at all. I mean, Iím more like that than he is. Youíre liable to get a volley off of me if you walk around during my takes. I would never imagine Christian doing that. Itís completely out of character. I was stunned when I saw it on the news.


Q: Is it fairly business as usual on a movie set, whether itís Christian or not, and something like that just happens and everyone gets over it?


MC: Oh sure. I lost my temper on a movie years ago when I was doing a movie called The Last Valley. James Clavell was the director. Iím not a very good horseman and they put me on this horse that they knew was a killer and it ran away with me for two miles and I brought it back at a slow pace and then I got off and all the unit were laughing and then I started and I outdid Christian by about 30 minutes with more language than he knew. So James Clavell broke the crew for an hour and he said, ďLetís have a cup of tea.Ē And so we went and had a cup of tea. James Clavell was captured in Hong Kong when he was 14 by the Japanese and spent the first part of his life in a Japanese prison camp. He said to me, ďThe way I survived was I became a Japanese in mentality. So I knew where they were coming from in their treatment of us and I knew where I should be in everything.Ē He said, ďThe one thing that the Japanese never do is they never lose their temper because anger is an emotion that you should never show to strangers because you expose too much of yourself.Ē He said, ďYou must never expose yourself like that to strangers.Ē And he gave me this long lecture on the Japanese and anger and I have never lost my temper on a set since. I go home and I scream at the kids. (Laughs) But I have never lost my temper on a set since.


Q: Have you reached out to Christian?


MC: I havenít seen him since. No. When I speak to him, Iím going to say, ďWhat the fuck are you doing?!Ē (Laughs)


Q: Are there any summer youíre looking forward to seeing?


MC: Any summer movies? I donít know what they are. Iíve just come from Surrey in England. We donít get a lot of Hollywood news out there. We donít know whatís coming. There is one though. There is one that I read about that Iíd like. I want to see the one with Christian! Terminator! Yeah! I saw a trailer for that.


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