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(Credit: Terry O'Neill)

Film

Why Michael Caine spent eight years trying not to blink

@Russellisation

Creating some of the most cherished characters in cinematic history – while also permeating pop culture forevermore with a quick wit and sharp style – there are few actors as iconic as the great British Michael Caine. However, the actor has recently recalled how he spent eight years trying not to blink to perfect a particular performance style.

The iconic screen actor explained that he found the technique in a book titled Teach Yourself Film Acting, with one tip that simply said “never blink”, leading him to spend eight years fighting against the natural urge.

Speaking to British tabloid The MirrorMichael Caine stated: “One thing that stuck in my mind was, ‘Don’t blink. You must never blink'”. 

“For the next eight years, I walked around trying not to blink. People around me, my mother and everybody, thought I had gone nuts,” he added. “They thought I was a psychopath. I used to frighten the life out of people.”

The same technique was adopted by Anthony Hopkins during his portrayal of Hannibal Lecter in The Silence Of The Lambs, revealing to ABC News: “If you don’t blink, you know you can keep the audience mesmerised… It’s not so much not blinking, it’s just being still. Stillness has an economy and a power about it”.

Making a breakthrough into the industry in 1964 with Zulu before rising to fame with AlfieThe Italian Job and Get Carter, in contemporary cinema he’s better known for his role as Alfred in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy as well as for portraying Scrooge in The Muppet Christmas Carol

With as much adoration for The Muppets Christmas Carol as the thousands of fans around the world, Caine commented that the film “was absolutely perfect at that time for what I wanted. I could make it, and my daughter could see it. That’s why I did it. And it was lovely” in an interview with GQ.

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