In this 1989 video tutorial, actor Michael Caine talks in a very direct, simple, practical way about the craft of acting specifically for films — it’s all about the eyes, the camera, and ignoring everything else. Caine, of course, is a superb actor who somehow has never really gotten his due in the history books — he runs the gamut from pop films to absolutely personal works, and manages to excel in every role he tackles. In sharp contract to lots of theoretical approaches to working in film, Caine demonstrates here a whole arsenal of methods, techniques, and strategies that make him such an effective screen presence.
As he told Sean O’Neal in 2011, “I’m forever testing myself. As a person and as an actor, I have no sense of competition. I am a great admirer of other actors, but I never compete with other actors. I always compete with what I did last, and I’m my own most vicious critic. So I’m always trying to do it better. Let me put it this way: If you’re sitting in a movie and you’re watching me, and you say, ‘Isn’t that Michael Caine a wonderful actor?’ then I’ve failed. If I’m a really wonderful actor, you’ll forget [I'm acting] because you’re going ‘What’s going to happen to [my character] now?’ That’s a movie actor, and that’s what I try to be.”