John Wayne Gave Michael Caine Brutally Honest Advice About Being Famous

by Chris Piner
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When it comes to celebrities, there is no shortage of icons as the list is cemented on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. But every once in a while, there is a star that transcends time, appearing to be larger than Hollywood itself. One of those celebrities was none other than John Wayne himself. Although known for his tough exterior, the actor loved the world of filmmaking and starring on the silver screen. Showcasing his talents in over 150 films and television shows, Wayne seemed to influence Hollywood as he eventually landed an Academy Award for his acting in True Grit. While passing away in 1979, The Duke continues to thrill fans as fellow actors like Michael Caine remembered his time with the late star. 

Winning two Oscar awards himself, Michael Caine once shared a moment with John Wayne after the success of his film Alfie. Landing the lead role in the film, Caine went on to star in another movie, Gambit. Speaking about that time on The Graham Norton Show in 2018, he admitted, “In the daytime I used to go down to the lobby and sit in the corner, and see if I could see any stars. And one day a helicopter landed, and all the flowers went up in the beds outside, up in the air and in walks John Wayne in a complete cowboy hat just like that.”

Another Famous Actor Remembers John Wayne Berating Him

Already shocked by the star’s sudden appearance, John Wayne apparently walked over to Michael Caine and shared his love for Alfie, noting it was one of his favorite films. The Academy Awards thought so too as he earned a Best Actor nomination. Wayne declared to the actor, “You’re gonna be a star, kid. But if you wanna stay one, remember this: Talk low, talk slow and don’t say too much.”

Starting to walk away, John Wayne turned back to give Michael Caine one last piece of advice. “He said, ‘Never wear suede shoes.’ I asked why and he said, ‘Because you’ll be taking a p**s in a men’s room and there’ll be a guy next to you, and all of a sudden the guy will recognize you and he’ll turn and go, ‘Michael Caine! And he’ll p**s all over your shoes!’ I never wore suede shoes again.”

Another actor who remembered sharing a great deal of time with John Wayne was Kirk Douglas. He jokingly recounted the time Wayne berated him for his role as Van Gogh in Lust for Life. Having a private screening with The Duke, Douglas received a tongue lashing from Wayne. “Afterwards, he motioned to me to go out on the veranda with him, and he berated me! He said, ‘How the hell could you play a goddamn character like that?’ And I said, ‘What do you mean? I’m an actor. He’s a fascinating character.’ And Wayne said, ‘No, no. We should never play those kinds of weak, sniveling characters. I don’t ever want to see you in a part like that again! They have no dignity!'”

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