Michael Caine – ‘Harry Brown’ Roundtable

Posted: April 14, 2011 in Uncategorized
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Interviewed 28 April 2010 

Michael Caine

BA – You did an episode of  ‘The Edgar Wallace Mystery Theatre’ tv series called ‘Solo For Sparrow’ back in 1962.  I have never seen it in the United States, but I remember you talking about it in a documentary nearly 20 years ago.
 
MC– I forgot all about that. It was a black & white tv film. I can’t remember who was in it.  I can’t remember if it was me who was in it (laugh).  I remember the title now.  I was definitely in it. I must Google it. Thanks very much.
 
BA– Tell us about ‘Harry Brown.’
 
MC – It was a film about violence, which I hate. And, the whole movie was made against violence.  It was a very good part for me, it was a very good script and a great thriller. The vulgarity was there as a warning for whoever is in charge in England. I am not quite sure most of the time. Probably nobody.  If you don’t do something about a whole section of young people that you left to rot, this is what’s going to happen to you. And, it especially interests me because I come from that whole section of people.
 
BA – You went into the military.
 
MC – At 18 I went into the military.  All my gang went in and came out. I remember one of them was in an airplane, he came out and said he was a pilot.  I said you can’t be a pilot, you’re more stupid than I am. I said I couldn’t fly a plane, how did you do it?  He said he went to flying school and before that he was just like all of us. The gang on the street, we were what you used to call Teddy Boys. We were quite rough, but compared with today’s gangs we were like Mary Poppins. Our drug was alcohol.
 
BA – You grow up in an area that the film was made.
 
MC – It was scary because I hadn’t realized how dangerous it all was.
 
BA – What about the class system in England?
 
MC – The Upper Class is useless, we don’t want to belong to that. We are our own kind. We will always be Working Class, and in the 60’s we just said to Society this is how it’s going to be. Lord ‘Reef’ wouldn’t let the BBC play pop music so we had to listen to The American Forces Network in Germany and Luxembourg.  The reason we called ourselves Working Class is because we didn’t want to be anything else.
 
BA – You have been making movies for five decades now, I wonder how Hollywood has changed for you, for better or for worst.
 
MC – Hollywood for me has stayed the same. All the myths of Hollywood — You are only as good as your last picture, your friends will dump you if you fail — I have the same group of friends that I have trusted for over 40 years.
 

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