Known for his Cockney accent, Sir Michael Caine announced his retirement in October at the age of 90. 2023’s The Great Escaper is marked as his final film.
With nearly eight decades of career, the actor has worked in over 130 films. He won 2 Oscars. First, for the 1986 film Hannah and Her Sisters and the other for The Cider House Rules in 1999—both of them as best supporting actors.
Caine has done so much in the industry that it’s hard to imagine him getting star-struck by any other actor. But it’s not like that. He was starstruck by one actor on set.
Many might think that it’s Christian Bale because Caine has worked with him as a fatherly figure and loyal legal guardian, Alfred Pennyworth, in the Batman sequel The Dark Knight Rises. And there’s no doubt they had amazing chemistry on-screen. But hold on, that’s definitely not Christian Bale.
Michael Caine Reveals Actor Who Starstruck Him
During an interview with Time Out (via Far Out Magazine), Michael Caine revealed that there’s this particular actor who left him feeling genuinely starstruck. And that actor was none other than Marlon Brando. Caine described his meeting with him in his autobiography, What’s It All About?
The Going in Style actor encountered Brando when he visited the set of the 1966 western The Appaloosa. He met him alongside the film’s director, Sidney Furie, who previously directed Caine in The Icpress File. The actor revealed:
“I had some free time so I went back with Sidney to the set and met Brando, who was sitting on a horse at the time,” he continued. “We said hello and then Brando asked me what I thought of Sidney as a director. I told him that I thought he was excellent, and Brando said, in front of Sidney, ‘I don’t think he can direct traffic.’
Suddenly, Caine knew something would happen.“Sid just stood there terribly hurt,” Caine continued, “and I found myself saying, ‘It’s a western — there isn’t any traffic.’ This got a slightly tense laugh after a moment while everybody waited to see if Marlon laughed, which he did and things lightened up a bit.”
Caine’s encounter with him was hardly unique as he is known for his unconventional working approach. Brando is the icon of his time, and with this, he proved himself to be the one. But Caine isn’t the only actor who was starstruck by Brando, another actor also revealed that he was equally awed by the legendary actor’s mere presence.
Peter Fonda Was Also Starstruck by Marlon Brando
In 1955, Peter Fonda met Brando and Dean Martin in Rome while visiting his father, Henry, who was filming War & Peace. They crossed paths on a flight to Europe to film The Young Lions. There’s a moment with Free Money star Fonda recalled in his memoir Don’t Tell Dad:
“I went down to the Stratocruiser lounge area and listened to Brando tell stories while Martin gave me beers. It was a long flight and after many beers, I fell asleep … In those days, I wore a tie and jacket whenever I travelled. But even in my tie and jacket, sneaking cigarettes and beers, I felt like a newly whelped pup around Brando.”
It’s obvious to say why Brando remains one of the most revered actors in American cinematic history to date.