Sir Michael Caine believes every young man should be required to serve in the military.
The “Going in Style” actor fought in the Korean War after entering National Service with the British Army in 1952. Before his wartime service, he was stationed in West Germany.
“I think every young man should be made to do it,” the 90-year-old told the Daily Mail this week. “It truly makes a man of you.”
In 1987, Caine did an interview with the Daily Mail in which he spoke about the brutality of his wartime experience: “Attack after attack, you would find their bodies in groups of four,” he said, according the Fusilier Museum London.
Caine also described how he and the men he was with were almost captured by enemy forces while on patrol in a paddy field.
“We heard them talking and we knew they had sussed us,” he said at the time. “Our officer shouted run and by chance we ran towards the Chinese, which is what saved us; in the dark we lost each other.”
The “Quiet American” star said he only began his career when his military service was over.
“I only became an actor after I left the army. I did rep for nine years then got a movie and was like, F— this! I love films more. I liked the money and all.”
Caine, whose new movie “The Great Escaper” is about a WWII veteran who sneaks away from his nursing home to go to Normandy in 2014 for the 70th anniversary of D-Day, has played several military roles throughout his long career, including, 1981’s “Victory,” 1977’s “A Bridge Too Far,” 1970’s “Too Late the Hero” and 1956’s “A Hill in Korea,” one of his very first roles.
In the wide-ranging interview this week, Caine also expressed his frustration with having to be politically correct, but said he does try to listen to younger generations.
He said he tries, “but it’s dull. Not being able to speak your mind and not being able to call anyone “darling.’”
“I try, but it’s hard. I like to learn from friends who are younger than me,” he added.
Speaking of younger generations made him think of how meeting his grandchildren for the first time gave him new life.
“Because as you get older, you inevitably think about dying, but as soon as you get grandchildren, your focus shifts,” he explained. “You think about them. You want to go on living because they are so much a part of you, and you want to live forever to see what they do with their lives. You just want to keep going.”
Caine also pithily gave his advice for living a long life.
“Younger wives, no snacking and wear trainers at all times – and you have to be careful not to fall down.”
The actor has been married to Shakira Caine, 76, since 1973.
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