Michael Caine says he spent eight years trying not to blink

“I used to frighten the life out of people”

Sir Michael Caine has admitted he spent eight years trying not to blink to perfect his acting technique.

The legendary actor, 88, explained that a book titled Teach Yourself Film Acting featured the tip to “never blink” – leading him to spend eight years trying not to close his eyelids.

Speaking to The Mirror, Caine said: “One thing that stuck in my mind was, ‘Don’t blink. You must never blink’.

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“For the next eight years, I walked around trying not to blink. People around me, my mother and everybody, thought I had gone nuts.

Michael Caine
Michael Caine at the 55th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in August 2021 CREDIT: Gabriel Kuchta/Getty Images

“They thought I was a psychopath. I used to frighten the life out of people.”

His commitment to staring even earned him the nickname ‘Snake Eyes’ in school.

Caine isn’t the only actor to mention the technique, with Anthony Hopkins previously explaining how it helped him play Hannibal Lecter in The Silence Of The Lambs (1991).

“If you don’t blink, you know you can keep the audience mesmerised,” Hopkins said to ABC News. “It’s not so much not blinking, it’s just being still. Stillness has an economy and a power about it.”

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Caine was honoured with a lifetime achievement award at the 55th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the Czech Republic on Friday (August 20).

His breakthrough role was in 1964’s Zulu, starring in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy, The Muppet Christmas Carol, The Italian Job, Educating Rita among many others since.

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