The Great Escaper director on working with the 'mischievous' Sir Michael Caine

Virgin Radio

21 Sep 2023, 12:13

Sir Michael Caine and a logo for The Great Escaper

Credit: BBC Films

Sir Michael Caine was “pretty mischievous” on the set of his most recent film, The Great Escaper, its director Oliver Parker has revealed.

Speaking to and other press at the premiere of the film, which is Glenda Jackson’s last, Oliver described how much he enjoyed working with Sir Michael.

“He’s fantastic,” the 63-year-old said. “He just loves a good fun set. He loves to play. He’s pretty mischievous,” he then elaborated humorously.

Oliver explained that despite his status, Michael didn’t try to throw his weight about on set, and was instead a “delight” to direct. 

“[He] worked so hard at it, but never kind of took it out on anybody else,” the Dad’s Army and Swimming with Men director added. “Also, what I love about him is he’s got a similar thing to Glenda which is his directness.”

“I think that’s why audiences connect with him,” he continued, “He’s completely present in the moment. So they’re both delightful to work with.”

The Great Escaper tells the story of Bernard ‘Bernie’ Jordan (Caine), a real life WWII veteran who made headlines when he escaped from his care home in order to travel to a 70th anniversary commemoration of the D-Day Landings in Normandy. 

Jackson stars as Bernie’s wife Irene ‘Rene’ Jordan in the film, which she completed and got to see at an early screening prior to her death in June 2023.

Oliver discussed Glenda’s reaction to the film while talking with and other outlets at the BFI Southbank based premiere on Wednesday 20th September.

“Well, I think she loved it,” he said, adding: “She’s so modest, you know, she’s so incredible. She didn’t really talk about her own performance.”

However, he added that she did talk about the other performances, and concluded by saying: “She seemed genuinely delighted.”

The Great Escaper hits cinemas on Friday 6th October.