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Batman Begins - Sir Michael Caine interview



Compiled by: Jack Foley

Excerpts taken from the London press conference held at The Dorchester Hotel

Q. How easy did butling come to you? Did you perhaps base the character on anybody you’d known and depended on in your own past?
A.
My mother used to be a cook during the war when we were evacuated in rich houses.
There were many, many butlers that we worked with, but I was only a little boy, and they were always rather scary figures.
But in the back story I made, I made him a soldier as well. The two main things about Alfred were that he’s tough and loyal.
The voice is the voice of my first sergeant in the army. I made him an infantry soldier who, by nature, are tough and loyal.

Q. Batman, I suppose, is the ultimate big hero. Can I ask who was the big hero in your life - in fact or fiction?
A.
When I was six, my father was a soldier and went away to war, so he was my big hero. I thought he was the greatest thing. And because there was no paper, we never had comics, and so we never knew any of these super-heroes until they came onto television much later. I got the idea that they were firing comics at the enemy, but we never saw any.

Q. What was it like acting with the younger actors?
A.
Well, these young actors are marvellous and it’s great because my own reaction is, if I work with a bad actor, I immediately become worse than he is because I can’t do it, you know [laughter] .
Christian and Katie are both wonderful at what they do and they are both extremely experienced as well. So in actual fact, it was a privilege to work with both of them.

Q. Will you be returning for any sequel?
A.
Well it's funny. I want to put this to Chris [Nolan] because he’ll be writing the new script. A guy told me yesterday that in one of the comics Bruce Wayne dresses up Alfred as Batman to act as a decoy… [general laughter].
I think Alfred dressed as Batman would be one of the funniest things ever in Batman. So will you bear that in mind, Christopher, if you write the script?
Christopher Nolan. Absolutely.

Q. How does it feel to be wanted all the time? I mean in the films...
A.
I thought there was more to this than met the eye for a moment! [Laughter] For me, it’s great because I spent 30 years of my life in film not being wanted at all.
So I’m just about… I’m over double now. I’m ahead. So I like it. I love being wanted for films but I haven’t worked since November, so I’m getting a bit scared now.

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