Not only did The Italian Job establish Michael Caine as one of the biggest movie stars in Hollywood, but the 1969 flick also helped the actor learn to drive. Yes, that’s right, he had no idea how to drive when he signed on for the role!
Nowadays, Michael Caine is one of the most beloved and best actors of all time. Having starred in some of the best movies around, like The Dark Knight, Children of Men, and The Muppets Christmas Carol (you can’t say his work isn’t diverse, at least), Caine is sadly bringing his career to an end now.
With this in mind, we’re reflecting on his filmography and wanted to share a fun fact with you all from this Michael Caine interview with The Sun, where it’s revealed he did not have a driving licence when he joined the cast of The Italian Job.
“There’s a special thing about this film, personally, because I didn’t have a licence and I couldn’t drive,” Caine said. “But we had such big areas for the Minis to move, you didn’t need a licence because they were closed to ordinary traffic. So for me it was incredible because I learned to drive on the movie.”
The extra practice paid off, and The Italian Job would go on to become one of the great action-comedy movies of its era. It was so iconic, that they decided to remake it with Mark Wahlberg and Jason Statham, and naturally, that plan worked out about as well as the idea to blow the bloody doors off.
It does make you wonder, just how Caine managed to bag the role of Charlie Croker in The Italian Job in the first place, given cars are so fundamental to the story. I like to think he charmed the director so much that they didn’t care about his inability to drive, or maybe he just blagged it and figured he would work out a solution further down the line.
Caine has a new movie out right now, called The Great Escaper, and sadly, this is his final ever film (I’m not crying, you are). Nevertheless, we still have his impeccable work across multiple Christopher Nolan movies to look back on, and watching the Batman movies in order is always so much fun when Caine’s Alfred shows up. And while we’re on the topic of car chases, you should probably invest some time in our guide to Reacher season 2.