Michael Caine is acting royalty now, but in the 60s, he hung out with rock legends like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Though he was a heavy drinker and admits to smoking 80 cigarettes a day at one point, Caine abstained from drug usage others of that era are well known for.
“I was at a party with [actor] Richard Harris and I said, ‘I’ve never smoked marijuana,’ and he said, ‘Well, smoke one.’”
What a wonderful scene. The guy who played Albus Dumbledore lighting up with the guy who played Alfred Pennyworth. Have to say, very on-brand for Dumbledore. Not quite as expected for Mr. Pennyworth.
— BBC Front Row (@BBCFrontRow) September 13, 2018
“I smoked the marijuana and I must have been terribly tense, because I laughed for five hours,” Caine said. “I couldn’t get a taxi home because I was standing at one o’clock in the morning on the pavement trying to wave a taxi: “I’m not picking him up, he’s nuts or drunk.”
The experience made Caine pass on marijuana, particularly because he believed it wouldn’t benefit his career long term.
“I was told by my doctor not to do it,” Caine said. “He said, ‘You’re an actor, you’ve got to remember lines, and marijuana is murder for the memory.’”
Caine reveals plenty of other great tidbits throughout the interview, like how the Beatles gifted the Rolling Stones their first No. 1 hit, and how his marriage has remained strong through 47 years (“separate bathrooms”). Our favorite is probably the career advice Caine received from John Wayne, which convinced the actor never to wear suede shoes again. Seriously.
“John Wayne said, ‘Never wear suede shoes,’ pointing at my shoes. I said, ‘Why not?’h He said, ‘’Cause you’re gonna be famous, and you’re gonna be in the toilet taking a piss and the guy next door to you is going to turn and recognize you and piss all over your shoes, kid.’ I gave all my suede shoes away to people who were unknown,” Caine said.