Michael Caine. The Statement. December 8, 2003
  • Golden Globe Awards

Oral History: Michael Caine on Greed, Envy and Social Structure

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bold”>A multiple Golden Globe nominee, Michael Caine won Golden Globes for Best Actor/Drama in 1984and 1999 and has been a frequent presenter.In 2003, when he was nominated for The Quiet American, he reflected on Great Britain’s (and the US’s) social structure.

italic”>“I rather enjoy my upward mobility because the upper inEngland is so stupid.They really are ridiculous, not anything to worry about. But they don’t perpetuate the class system, the working class does. I mean, do you see dukes or lords or earls lining the streets to look at theQueen?It’s all working-class people.

italic”>Here, in America, you don’t have a class system,you have race. The main difference between the US. and England is in England you have a quality of life and in the US you have a standard of living. standard of living means two cars,four TVs,etc., 200 cable stations, air conditioning, central heating, all those things. Everyone here has a psychiatrist, sniffs coke or smokes marijuana.In England, you have a quality of life, means you don’t have any of these things.

italic”>One of the greatBritish diseases is envy.Every nation has its own disease. America is greed, France is chauvinism, and England is envy. The papers inEngland deal with envy. When they write, ‘Here comes the cockney lad leaving into his 50 thousand poundRolls Royce,’ they’re telling readers, ‘You’re workingclass, he’s madeit, and you haven’t.’They deal in envy all the time.”