Michael Caine Will Never Consider Himself A 'Retired' Actor

In October 2021, news broke that Sir Michael Caine would be retiring from acting. In an interview with Kermode & Mayo, he described the then-upcoming "Best Sellers" as his last part. Considering Caine is in his late 80s and has already made more than 100 films, his choosing to retire wouldn't be that surprising ... if the news was correct, that is. The next day, Caine took to Twitter and reassured his followers, "I haven't retired and not a lot of people know that." Anonymous sources close to Caine corroborated this to Variety.

This isn't the first time rumors of Caine's retirement have swirled; in 2009, there was gossip that "Harry Brown" would be his last role. According to Caine, though, even if he stops working, it won't be by choice. As he said in a previous interview with Gentlemen's Journal:

"You don't retire from the movies. The movies retire you. The scripts stop coming, or the money's not good enough, and then it's not even worth getting out of bed."

Has that day come yet for Caine?

Caine's words

Caine's exact words on Kermode & Mayo are quoted below. While we now know that he wasn't announcing his retirement, he definitely worded himself poorly.

"I haven't worked for two years, I have a spine problem which affects my legs, so I can't walk very well ... And I also wrote a book, a couple of books, which were published and were successful. So, I'm now not an actor, I'm a writer, which is lovely because as an actor, you have to get up at half past 6 in the morning and go to the studio. As a writer, you can start writing without leaving the bed ... There haven't been any offers, obviously, for two years, because nobody's been making any movies that I'd want to do, but also, I'm 88. There's not exactly scripts pouring out with a leading man who's 88."

It seems Caine was simply talking about his career slowing down, why that is, and how he's passing the time. Even so, he spoke too soon about "Best Sellers" being his last role; he recently appeared in the Czech historical epic, "Medieval."

While his health is another matter, age hasn't diluted Caine's talent. Take his near eponymous role in "Tenet" as Sir Michael Crosby. It's an undemanding scene, a few minutes sitting in a restaurant, and on paper a mere exposition dump. But the dialogue is never dull because Caine is the one delivering it. It's a shame that, unlike everyone else in Hollywood, Caine is not on the cast list for Christopher Nolan's next film, "Oppenheimer."

The only upcoming project on Caine's docket is "The Great Escaper." However, it sounds like if a script interests him, he's willing to work. Hollywood would be remiss to not take all the advantage of Caine's talent it can.