Caine says career will fade away like old soldier

Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:37pm EDT
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By Michelle Nichols

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Michael Caine has been acting for more than 50 years and has no plans to retire. Instead the British army veteran says his career will simply "fade away" like an old soldier.

Caine, 76, says he now only takes roles he just can't refuse and that apart from two completed movies and being contracted to reprise his role as the butler in the third Batman movie, he does not yet have another film lined up.

"It's the old Mafia thing, you make me an offer I can't refuse. And it's nothing to do with the money anymore, it's to do with the script," Caine told Reuters in an interview for his latest film "Is Anybody There?". It opens on Friday in U.S. theaters.

"If a script doesn't turn up that I can't refuse, then I'm retired," he said. "There's no fanfare or announcement in the newspapers, I've just gone. I used to be a soldier and as they say 'old soldiers don't die they just fade away.'"

Caine, who served with the British army in the Korean War, said he has given one of his best performances playing a musician dying of Alzheimer's disease in "Is Anybody There?"

Clarence (Caine) strikes up an unlikely friendship with a young boy when he moves into a retirement home run by the boy's parents in rural England.

"It's one of the best movies I've ever done, it's one of the best performances I've ever given," said Caine, who won best supporting actor Academy Awards for "The Cider House Rules" in 2000 and for "Hannah and Her Sisters" in 1987.

"My criteria for my performances is, and I've very seldom done it, did I disappear? Did the acting disappear? And did Clarence appear? And the answer to all those three questions is yes," said Caine.   Continued...

<p>Actor Michael Caine poses for a picture in New York April 6, 2009. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton</p>