Caine, Arkin, Freeman talk about longevity
The movie is “Going in Style,” an updated “reimagining” of the 1979 dramatic comedy in which three senior citizens — George Burns, Art Carney, and Lee Strasberg — who are having money problems decide to pull off a bank heist.
The event was a get-together at a New York hotel where the three principle actors in the new, less dramatic, much goofier version — Michael Caine, Alan Arkin, and Morgan Freeman — sat in front of a small group of journalists, listening to questions they were supposed to answer, but having more fun chatting with each other, often all talking at once.
There was no way to make any normal kind of story out of the situation, as they weren’t going to stop having a good time, and no one was going to interrupt them. But surprisingly, they did pay some attention to us, especially when any sort of serious question came up. Here’s one response from each of them.
Sir Michael Caine, 84, on how, being so successful in his career, he manages to tap into the mindset of a character who’s so down on his luck:
“We have very good memories. If (life is) tough enough, you never forget it. I used to do small parts. I’d be the policeman who comes in at the end of the movie and takes the crook away. I did that for 12 pounds a day, and two days of work on the movie. I did hundreds of those. If you look me up on your iPad, it looks like I did 2 million movies. But I only did one day on each of them.”
Morgan Freeman, 79, on what kept him in the game during his early, tough days in the acting business:
“I can think of two or three things that encourage you to keep you working. One is that sometimes, when it was almost at the very limits of your endurance, my experience was that friends would say, ‘No, you can’t quit.’ Another was the total embarrassment of driving a cab in New York and then having somebody I know get in it. But I didn’t do it. I was on the very verge of going to the taxi and limousine service to get my chauffeur’s license, when I got a job from Paul Newman (“Harry & Son,” in 1984). It’s like you’ve just gotta keep going.”
Alan Arkin, 83, on the film’s themes of aging and mortality:
“For the past 6 or 7 years, I’d open a script and say, ‘OK what page do I die on?’ And then I’d say, ‘Oh, I made it up to page 64. Not bad!’ People ask me if that’s depressing, and I say, ‘No, it’s good practice!’ It’s a weird thing. You hit a certain age, and all of a sudden you get talked about as if you’re not a human being. It’s like another version of prejudice. Suddenly you get talked about as if you’re another species, in a way. I don’t feel any different than when I was 17. Well, I feel a little bit slower than I was then. But aside from that, I’m a person. You don’t ask a 36-year-old what does it feel like to be 36. But when you hit 70, it’s what does it feel like to be 70. That’s the strange part.”
“Going in Style” opens on April 7.
— Ed Symkus writes about movies for More Content Now.