Michael Caine (center) plays the grandfather who summons a team for an island adventure in “Journey 2.” From left: Dwayne Johnson, Josh Hutcherson, Luis Guzman, Vanessa Hudgens.
Updated: March 13, 2012 8:09AM
Michael Caine appreciates the journey.
“I’m lucky that I started out as an amateur actor. Amateur means you do something because you love it. I’ve been doing something and getting well paid for it for decades, and it’s something I used to do for pleasure.
“Wait, I’m making myself sound like a hooker,” says the screen legend during a phone interview from his London home. In the background, you can hear his grandchildren roughhousing.
“I really do have a new lease on life because my daughter’s home is under renovations, so I have a 3-year-old and twin 2-year-olds living with me and I love it. I love having everything messed up. Honestly, I thank God every single day for my life. I can’t believe when people ask me, ‘Do you believe in God?’ My answer always is: ‘If you had my life you’d believe, too.’”
In “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island,” he plays opposite Dwayne Johnson in the story of a family investigating an island where elephants are the size of poodles and bees are so large that you can ride them for transportation. Caine plays the crazy elder who found the place and wants to continue the adventure.
1 What was the appeal of starring in a movie in a jungle with the man formerly known as The Rock?
I don’t make any films the children can go see until this “Journey 2.” I did the same thing for their mother. When she was 6 or 7, I made “Muppets Christmas Carol” for her. Now, my grandchildren will be able to say, “I have a grandfather and he rides around on the back of a giant bumblebee with The Rock. What does your grandfather do?”
2 At age 78, what is it like for you to do crazy stunts? Do you worry about getting hurt?
I’m quite fit. I’m touching wood here. For a 78-year-old, I get around. I live on the side of a hill, and every time I go for a walk down to my garden, it’s definitely a walk back up. On the set of this movie, they looked after me quite well. I play the granddad leading the blood adventure. I’m not following and gasping. … It’s a funny thing with stunts. I’m the world’s worst horseman. But in one movie I led a charge of horses. If I had fallen off, I would have been trampled to death. It’s funny because actors are so full of themselves. They think they can do any bloody thing.
3 What was it like to work with The Rock?
The Rock or Dwayne Johnson is such a nice guy. He’s so bloody big that nobody is ever going to be nasty to him. You just never start up with the Rock. We filmed in Hawaii and he has family there, which was nice.
What can you tell us about the last “Dark Knight” film, due this summer? Is it sad to say bye-bye to Alfred?
I am sad. But I know this “Batman” will be the best one, and I’m touching wood again here. I love the story. Much more I can’t say. Director Christopher Nolan will call me up and say, “Michael, you did an interview and said you were in ‘Batman.’ ” I’ll say, “They know I’m in ‘Batman.’ People saw me in the streets filming it!” It’s all so secretive. I can tell you in Chicago that I loved filming the previous films there. Chicago is Batman’s kind of town. I’ll never forget doing all of the train stuff under those amazing arches you have in the city. It was incredible stuff.
5 There are rumors of a “Journey” sequel. Are you game for more adventures?
In the last scene of the movie, my character suggests that their next stop be the North Pole. Later, I said, “Wait, we shot this film in Hawaii, and the North Pole is a far different type of location shoot.” But I’m not worried. I’ll only be 81 shooting in the ice and tundra. I guess Chicago could actually double for the North Pole if we shot the film there in the middle of the winter. And I do know my way around from all those “Batman” days and nights spent in your city.
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