Michael Caine has been happily married to his wife, Shakira, for 36 years. So what’s his secret? “Two bathrooms,” he tells Joseph Amodio in Newsday. “I mean, it’s a minor thing, but I always say it’s the first thing you need.” He smiles. “But also, you must be equal partners. I’m not this big film star with the little woman. She’s my guide, my mentor. She’s always there for me, always. And I’m there for her. You just reach a stage of intimacy where I’ll order a drink and she’ll start drinking it, without thinking or anything. We’re so intertwined.” But when Caine first asked Shakira out, he wasn’t looking for a life partner. He was simply smitten with her looks, which he had seen in a coffee commercial. So he tracked her down through the ad agency. Shakira wasn’t exactly receptive. “She wouldn’t go out with me for weeks. I had a very bad reputation in those days, sort of Alfie-ish. And all her girlfriends told her not to go out with me.” But Caine wouldn’t be deterred. “I kept ringing and ringing and ringing. I think she got fed up. She said, ‘All right, but we go in my car, not yours.’ She drove, so there wouldn’t be any trouble. But,” he adds, laughing, “there was—later!”
FOLLOW THE WEEK ON FACEBOOK
Michael Caine’s advice for a happy marriage
April 30, 2009
of The Week magazine.