Actor Michael Caine was a Hollywood newbie when John Wayne sauntered through the lobby of the hotel where he was staying. And at that moment, the Duke offered Caine some hilarious advice on his future in the movie business that Caine has never forgotten.
“I was a week on my own in Hollywood,” Caine recalled in a 2018 interview on “The Graham Norton Show.” “And I was just—I’d never been to America. And they put me in a luxurious suite in a Beverly Hills hotel. And then nobody ever talked to me… I didn’t know anybody. I was just in this luxury hotel, ordering caviar and champagne, all on my own.”
“In the daytime, I used to go down to the lobby and sit in the corner and see if I could see any stars,” Caine continued. “And one day, a helicopter landed. And all the flowers went up in the beds outside, up in the air, and in walked John Wayne.”
John Wayne Schooled Michael Caine on Being a Star
Wayne looked like a full-on cowboy, Caine recalled. He didn’t need to introduce himself for Caine to recognize him. But as it turned out, Wayne recognized Caine, too. At that point, Caine had already starred in the 1966 British comedy “Alfie” about a womanizing chauffeur in postwar London.
“He was registering in the Beverly Hills hotel, and he looked up, and he saw me in the corner,” Caine recounted. “And he said to me, ‘What’s your name, kid?’ I said, ‘Michael Caine.’ He said, ‘You were in that movie, ‘Alfie’?’ I said yes. He [said], ‘I saw that. You’re gonna be a star, kid.’ I said, ‘Oh, thank you, sir.’ And he said, ‘But let me give you some advice.’”
“He said, ‘Talk low, talk slow, and don’t say too f—ing much,’” Caine said. “And I had on suede shoes. And he said to me, he said, ‘Never wear suede shoes, kid.’ I said, ‘What?’ He said, ‘Never wear suede shoes.’ So I said, ‘Why?’”
“And he said, ‘Because I just told you, you’re gonna be a star, kid,’” Caine went on. “He said, ‘And you’re gonna be in the gents’ toilet taking a pee, and the guy next to you is gonna be taking a pee. He’s gonna look and he’s gonna go, ‘Michael Caine!’ And then he’s gonna pee all over your shoes.’”
Watch Caine recount the hilarious story on the “Graham Norton Show” above.