Michael Caine believes one positive thing may have come out of the Harvey Weinstein scandal – that actresses are now safe from other potential sexual predators.
“I did three pictures with him,” says Caine in an interview in the new issue of Radio Times magazine. “Harvey was a single character in himself. But there is one great thing, if it can be described like that, about Harvey and his behaviour. It’s that actresses are safe now.”
Caine, whose acting career has spanned 65 years, suggests that the high profile nature of the Weinstein allegations will lead others in the industry to refrain from sexual misconduct.
“No producer would dare to do anything sexually, because he knows he’s going to wind up in court, which is exactly where Harvey is.”
Movie mogul Weinstein has been the subject of numerous claims of sexual harassment and assault and is currently on bail facing charges including rape. He has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex and has pleaded not guilty in his current court case.
Meanwhile, the #MeToo movement spawned by the Weinstein scandal continues to see women and men from the film industry and elsewhere come forward to share their stories of being targeted by sexual harassment.
Caine, who admits in his new book Blowing The Bloody Doors Off, that he is “still learning” about “the battles – not just for the roles, but for dignity and basic decency – that women have been fighting in the movies and many other industries for years”, recalls that during his time in Hollywood the so-called casting couch was “almost a joke”.
“In Hollywood we were all aware of the casting couch,” he tells Radio Times. “It was almost a joke. We knew it existed. But my view of the casting couch was that a young lady went to do an audition, the producer said, ‘Well, you’ve got the part if you do this,’ she said, ‘I’m not doing that,’ and he said, ‘Well, you haven’t got the part,’ and she left.
“I thought it was terribly unfair that a talented actress might not get a part because she wouldn’t do something sexual with the producer. But it happened, and there was nothing I could do about it. I was a nobody in Hollywood. I didn’t have the power of the big producers. But I never thought there were any actual physical attacks.”
Read the full interview with Michael Caine, and get a behind the scenes tour of the new Tardis, in this week’s Radio Times, available from Tuesday 16th October