Michael Caine: 'I used to drink a bottle of vodka a day'

The actor has spoken about the problems he faced with alcohol during his early career and says his wife saved him from an early grave

Michael Caine has revealed that he drank a bottle of vodka a day early in his career. The Oscar-winning actor spoke about his problems with alcohol during his early career in an interview with Radio Times.

“I was a bit of a piss artist when I was younger,” he said. “I used to drink a bottle of vodka a day and I was smoking several packs a day.”

Caine claimed his job led him to extremes. “I wasn’t unhappy, but it was stress,” he said. You know, ‘Am I going to get another picture? How am I going to do this part? How am I going to remember all those lines? I’ve got to get up at six in the morning and I hope the alarm works.’”

He believed that his second wife, Shakira, saved him from death after they were married in 1973, saying she “calmed him” down. “Without her, I would have been dead long ago,” he said. “I would have probably drunk myself to death.”

In an interview with the Telegraph last week, Caine said now he only drinks wine with dinner.

The actor is promoting his role as a retired composer in Paolo Sorrentino’s film Youth. It won him the best actor trophy at the European film awards in December. After the ceremony, he reflected on his career and his personal mistrust of advice from other actors.

“I always say to any actor: don’t listen to advice from actors, especially if they’re older than you,” he said. “Because when I was very young, I asked lots of older actors for advice and every single one of them said to me, ‘Give it up. You can’t act and you’ve got a rotten accent.’”

Caine will appear in the forthcoming thriller about magicians Now You See Me 2 and the crime comedy Going in Style.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Benjamin Lee, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 19th January 2016 12.56 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010