Michael Caine Says He Spent Eight Years Trying Not to Blink

“They thought I was a psychopath. I used to frighten the life out of people.”
FILE - In this Wednesday, May 20, 2015 file photo, Michael Caine poses for photographers during a photo call for the film Youth, at the 68th international film festival, Cannes, southern France. The international film festival returns to the Czech spa of Karlovy Vary after two years due to a delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The 55th edition of the fest will honor English Oscar-winning English actor Michael Caine for his outstanding contribution to world cinema at its start on Friday, Aug, 20, 2021.(AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau, file)
Michael Caine

Sir Michael Caine took method acting to a whole new level when, as revealed in a new interview with Mirror, he tried not to blink for eight years because of something he read in an acting book. (Via AV Club.)

An Oscar winner for both “Hannah and Her Sisters” and “The Cider House Rules,” the 88-year-old screen icon confessed that he attempted not to blink because he thought it would make his performances more mesmerizing onscreen.

As Caine told Mirror, the veteran star of more than 130 films picked up a tip from the book “Teach Yourself Acting.” He said, “One thing that stuck in my mind was, ‘Don’t blink. You must never blink’. “For the next eight years, I walked around trying not to blink. People around me, my mother and everybody, thought I had gone nuts.”

He added, “They thought I was a psychopath. I used to frighten the life out of people.”

He said that while he’s resumed blinking in real life, he still never blinks while shooting a scene. Apparently, the choice earned him the nickname “Snake Eyes.”

Anthony Hopkins similarly did not blink while shooting on “The Silence of the Lambs.” As Caine explained, “If you don’t blink, you know you can keep the audience mesmerized. It’s not so much not blinking, it’s just being still. Stillness has an economy and a power about it.”

Michael Caine was most recently seen in a short role in Christopher Nolan’s time-bending espionage thriller “Tenet.” Next up, he will be seen in Petr Jákl’s Czech historical drama “Medieval,” “Now You See Me 3,” and in “The Great Escaper” opposite Glenda Jackson.

In an interview with The New York Times, Helen Mirren let it slip that Vin Diesel wanted Caine to play her character’s husband in the “Fast and Furious” films, aka the patriarch of the Shaw family. (Mirren recently starred in “F9: The Fast Saga.”)

“I don’t know if I’m allowed to say but apparently Vin had the idea of Michael Caine,” Mirren said. “I mean, wouldn’t that be fantastic? That would be just so cool and absolutely perfect. So we’ll see.”

Daily Headlines
Daily Headlines covering Film, TV and more.

By subscribing, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

PMC Logo
IndieWire is a part of Penske Media Corporation. © 2023 IndieWire Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved.