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Sir Michael Caine says he'll 'never' retire - until the scripts stop coming

Published 15/10/2015

Sir Michael Caine, Rachel Weisz and Harvey Keitel attending the Youth premiere in Leicester Square, London
Sir Michael Caine, Rachel Weisz and Harvey Keitel attending the Youth premiere in Leicester Square, London

Sir Michael Caine says he will "never" retire - as long as people keep offering him roles.

The 82-year-old actor, who plays a retired composer relaxing in a luxury Swiss spa in his latest film Youth, said he was not tempted by that life.

Speaking at the film's premiere in London's Leicester Square, he said: "Never. No, if I retired I'd retire in England. But I wouldn't retire anywhere.

"But what happens is, you don't retire from movies. Movies retire you. You suddenly don't get any scripts, or there's no money and they can't afford you: then you stop."

Caine plays composer Fred Ballinger in the film by Oscar-winning director Paolo Sorrentino. Sent to a Swiss spa for his health with his best friend Mick Boyle (Harvey Keitel), he is resisting attempts to revive his greatest works - while filmmaker Mick is desperate to make his comeback, featuring his former muse Brenda (Jane Fonda).

Fred also has to contend with his family appearing on the scene - including daughter Lena Ballinger (Rachel Weisz). Her husband Julian (Ed Stoppard), who is also Mick's son, has left her for pop star Paloma Faith.

On her cameo, Faith, 35, said: "I'd like to do more acting. I find it a challenge, and I like being challenged.

"But I'd like to do something a bit wittier and more hardcore, next time, where people don't really even expect me to be that way.

"I'm really into cinema, I'm a massive film buff, so I'd like to get my teeth into something that's a bit alien to me. I'd love to do some sort of gritty British thing."

Weisz, 45, said of working with Caine: "Michael's a sweetheart, an absolute sweetheart, and he's a living legend. He's very funny and down to earth."

On shooting in the village of Flims in Switzerland, she said: "It was off season, there was no snow. In fact the hotel was closed when we got there. It was a bit Shining-like, actually."

Paul Dano, 31, who plays spa guest Jimmy Tree in the film, said: "We were out there in the middle of nowhere, just each other. I'd get a glass of red wine with Michael after work and listen to him telling me stories."

Sorrentino confirmed that the role of Fred was written specifically for Caine.

He said: "I sent him the script. I told him the movie was written for him, and with that he agreed to do it."

Caine said: "When they said Paolo Sorrentino is sending you a script, I was amazed Paolo Sorrentino had even heard of me. And then they said: He wrote it for you! so it was a tremendous privilege."

:: Youth will be released in cinemas later this year.

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