Caine on Batman Begins

Actor Michael Caine talks Batman Begins, sequels, Christian Bale, characters, and so much more.
Actor Michael Caine who plays Alfred, Bruce Wayne's butler in Batman Begins discusses the characters, sequels, experiences, and reveals whether has signed on for more Batman sequels.

Thinking about Alfred in the comics how did each of you approach the character?

Michael Caine: "I did a back story on mine. I wanted to be the toughest butler you've ever seen, not the normal English, suave butler. And so I made him an SAS sergeant, which is a very, very tough British army unit. He's wounded; he didn't want to leave the army. He became the sergeant in charge of the sergeant's cantina or sergeant's mess as it's called in the British army. And he got found by Bruce Wayne's father, who wanted the toughest butler he could find, and that's what he got. And I used the voice of my original sergeant when I joined the British army. It's his voice. That's the back story, and I'm waiting for Christopher Nolan to do "Alfred: The Beginning.".

Are you signed for a second installment?

Michael Caine: "Only mentally. I’d do it in a minute. But I’m signed."

How was the experience filming the movie?

Michael Caine: "It was great fun. It was a good movie to work on. And it was quiet. There's none of the shouting and bawling. He's a very quiet man, Christopher. When he directs – you know, I'm a bit deaf – I kept saying, "What did he say?" He's so quiet. You think, "I'm going deaf." But I'm not. He's just quiet. What you get from Christopher is he's very quiet, but you better do exactly what you're supposed to do, otherwise his voice might get louder. So, you do it and hope he doesn't notice anything. And that's it. He's a wonderful director."

Christian Bale saw himself as an animal the first time he saw himself in costume. What was your impression?

Michael Caine: "He looked like an animal, didn't he? He looked like a bat... And we made him. No, Alfred and Batman make the uniform. Obviously, we didn't make the uniform. The first time I saw it, I opened a cupboard on the set, and it was in there and made me jump. It was just sitting there. I think it's the most sinister Batman outfit I've ever seen. It's very sinister. Very hard, and it's not shiny. Batman was always shiny. And the Batmobile was [always] shiny. The Batmobile looks like you'd be safer on the outside than driving it. You could die driving the bloody thing. Better to run away from it."

Any thoughts on how you'd like to see your characters developed for sequels?

Michael Caine: "Longer. Bigger... I'd like to be a bigger character."

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