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How Jack Nicholson saved Michael Caine’s acting career

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Jack Nicholson is a man of many talents. An actor and filmmaker who has been performing for over sixty years and who sits comfortably at three Oscars, an achievement that makes him one of Hollywood’s most famous figures. He is undoubtedly one of the 20th century’s greatest leading men and most acclaimed stars and, it turns out, also a motivational speaker.

It was an exploration of the aforementioned talent that saw Nicholson achieve one of the greatest victories of his career, a time when he helped Michael Caine save his career and prevent him from retiring.

While Nicholson’s professional ability apparently knows no bounds, his off-camera personality has garnered more than his fair share of rumors, headlines, and urban myths over the years. The constant and remaining factor, however, is that everyone, it seems, loves Jack Nicholson.

Michael Caine, Nicholson’s close friend and British counterpart, is a figure in the film industry who owes his colleague in more ways than one. Well into his 80s now and still working on plenty of projects, South Londoner Caine became disappointed with Hollywood and all of the drama, workload and stress that came with it. Also, Caine’s upward trajectory had apparently peaked and a new path was needed.

In his memoir, the actor recalls: “Not only did the scripts dry up, but they started to look painfully different. One of the lowest moments of my career where it seemed at the time was that day that I was sent the script in which, the producers had to spell me, I had to read the father, not the lover. My first reaction to the revelation that I was too old to play the romantic lead (I was about sixty) was that my acting career was over and I was going to have to radically reinvent ‘success’.

After scoring his two Oscar wins and solidifying his place in history, Caine resided in London and stepped away from the spotlight while contemplating his future. Working primarily as a restaurateur, Caine owned five high profile establishments in Mayfair, South Beach Brasserie in Miami, and more as the 1990s wore on as he sought to spend time on his acting career. That was, of course, until Nicholson intervened.

Reflecting on his near-retirement call, Caine recalls, “I was even happier when Jack Nicholson, a wonderful actor, who was also in Miami at the time, persuaded me that reinvention didn’t need. to be so extreme ”, in an excerpt from his memoirs reported byTHAT ONE.

“Why don’t you just reinvent myself as a movie actor, as opposed to a movie star? A character actor rather than a leading actor? (What’s the difference? Well, it’s basically this. When movie stars get a script they want to do, they change it to suit them. When the major movie stars get a script they want to do , they change to suit the scenario.) “

Knowing the busty Briton’s response, it won’t be surprising that this is exactly what Caine did, joining Nicholson in the 1996 neo-noir thriller. Blood and wine and, remembering his time on the set with Nicholson, Caine affectionately explained, “We were walking towards the set when suddenly a cry arose: the suns are going!” Hurry, were losing the light! Everyone started running, so I went for a run too – until Jack pulled me back and told me not to run because they’ll know we’re late. That sums up her entire character in one line.

Given Nicholson’s infamous reputation with the ladies, Caine also offered advice on how to prepare for a night out with the iconic actor: wear old clothes and chunky-toed boots, as you’ll be trampled on by the women who will try to join Jack. It’s a kind reminder that no matter your status, you are still the second best behind Jack Nicholson.

See a clip of Caine discussing his relationship with Nicholson, below.



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