Working With Michael Caine Left Its Mark On Daniel Radcliffe

I will fully admit that I have not thought one second about Jon M. Chu's 2016 magic heist film "Now You See Me 2" since I left the theater except to continuously bemoan the fact that it was not called "Now You Don't" (Seriously, how the f*** did they screw that up?). The tales of [checks notes] The Four Horsemen do not stick firmly to the brain. I honestly forgot Daniel Radcliffe plays a significant role in the film.

That is no knock on Radcliffe. He is a wonderful actor, and his post-"Harry Potter" oeuvre is filled with a lot of truly exciting performances. I mean, two weeks after the release of "Now You See Me 2" saw "Swiss Army Man" hit theaters, where he delivers a dynamite turn as a living, farting corpse. His character in "Now You See Me 2," Walter Mabry, is essentially a dry run for his character in this year's "The Lost City," a villainous, wealthy eccentric.

Radcliffe does not seem particularly precious about the work he does. The man has more money than God and has the ability to take on any role that sounds like it would be a good time. He likes acting, and if the project presents the opportunity to work with some great people in a good situation, why not take it? After all, so many actors have to scrape and claw to get one part. Taking his position in the industry for granted would be like a backhand to the face of every struggling actor. In "Now You See Me 2," Radcliffe got to play the son of someone who exemplifies this attitude better than just about anyone from his side of the Atlantic. I'm talking about Michael Caine.

'You don't have to become a jaded ass'

Michael Caine is a legend. I don't think that's an understatement. For over half a century, he's been an actor you cannot take your eyes off on screen, whether as a young sex symbol or an old man in a Christopher Nolan film. The man has 173 acting credits and three upcoming projects. He turns 90 next year and continues being in movies. It's pretty astounding.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Daniel Radcliffe spoke of how working with Caine put into perspective how he wants to approach his own career:

"As an English person, he was one of those people that I heard talked about growing up — and you'd be like, 'Oh, I want people to talk about me that way one day.' That is the Everest of my own personal aspiration. That would be the greatest compliment that I can think of, because he's kind of universally adored as a person and as a professional ... Still going, and still loves it. He's not one of these older actors — and there are a lot of them — that come on like, 'Okay, let's just do it and get it done and I'll go.' He's having fun, he's having a laugh, he's having a joke, he's catching up with a friend. It's really inspirational."

Seeing actors holding onto the love of the work and enjoying on-set camaraderie genuinely brightens my day. We read many stories about actors torturing themselves and those around them because of the sanctity of the art or whatever. Ultimately, the job is to deliver a piece that will entertain, move, or thrill audiences. If what you are doing isn't fun, why do it? In the words of Radcliffe himself: "You don't have to become a jaded ass."