British actor Sir Michael Caine says his father thought he was gay when he told him he wanted to become an actor.
Speaking to Esquire magazine, the 80-year-old actor said: ‘My dad was a Billingsgate fish market porter. When I told him that I was going to be an actor, he never said a word but I saw his face and thought, he thinks I’m gay.
‘The theater in those days was very gay. But I wasn’t.’
When he was young, he thought he was an ‘ugly bugger’ but others thought of him differently.
‘When I came out of the army, I was very suntanned and built a bit like Arnold Schwarzenegger,’ Caine told the Sunday Times.
‘When I walked in to be assistant stage manager, I realized the entire theater company was gay. So they hired me instantly.
‘So that’s how I got in. And then I had to fight for my honor for years,’ he teased. ‘I was so big, they didn’t scare me.’
Despite Caine being given the Freedom to the City of London, he credits his upbringing for every bit of his success.
‘My three great achievements with which I had absolutely nothing to do are that I was born an Englishman, a Londoner and a Cockney.’
The Michael Caine Exhibition is at the Museum of London until 14 July.