"There are things that I have done in my life that I should regret. I don't." On these pages is the familiar, engaging voice one expects to encounter: the Cockney lad who realized the impossible dream - unchanged, unfazed, still so astonished at his good fortune that his natural comedic impulse must continually poke fun at himself and his surroundings. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that, as Alfie, Michael Caine forever epitomized a culture that was coming of age in the sixties - the quintessence of the average man transformed by the promise of changing times - or perhaps it's that few other actors have so magically forged a persona beyond the characters they've inhabited on screen. Whatever the reason, Michael Caine has remained one of the world's most versatile, enduring and beloved actors of our time.
Born in 1933 in London's impoverished East End, Maurice Joseph Micklewhite had an eye disorder that made him appear sleepy, ears that stuck out at right angles and rickets that forced him to wear heavy boots ("I must have scared the hell out of all the other little kids"). With all the easy charm and humor of a natural raconteur, Caine enchants with tales of his hardworking mum and his hard-won journey to fame, his hilarious stint in the army ("they called it National Service; we called it hell") and terrifying time in the Korean jungles and his baptism into the Swinging London of Albert Finney, Vidal Sassoon, Terence Stamp, Julie Christie and Peter Sellers ("the only time in my life when nothing went wrong for anybody").
What's It All About? is also about the movies - from Alfie to Sleuth to The Man Who Would Be King to Hannah and Her Sisters - and about the craft. In the course of seventy-seven films, Caine has worked with such legends as Sir Laurence Olivier ("Call me Larry"), Elizabeth Taylor, Peter O'Toole, Sidney Poitier and Brigitte Bardot, and with such legendary directors as John Huston (who, at their first meeting, "looked like God on a bad day"), Woody Allen, Brian De Palma, Otto Preminger and Vittorio de Sica. But above all, What's It All About? is about the companions on his life journey, from his longterm friendships with Roger Moore ("He was famous, handsome, elegant and generous; I was obscure, ugly, scruffy and mean"), Sean Connery and Cary Grant, to name but a few; to his extraordinary love affair with his wife, Shakira.
What's It All About? is a book of anecdotes and insights, full of stories of romance, humor, lust, bad behavior, good deeds, rough times and halcyon days. Candid, vibrant and warm, here is a captivating self-portrait of a man who is at once sublimely ordinary and simply extraordinary.
Motion picture actors and actresses -- Great Britain -- Biography. (LCSH)