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Michael Caine reflects on gay roles: ‘Kiss with Christopher Reeve was a disaster’

Michael Caine reflects on gay roles: ‘Kiss with Christopher Reeve was a disaster’

Michael Caine in the 1982 film Deathtrap | Photo: Warner Bros

Michael Caine has reflected on the gay roles he dared to do in the 70s and 80s, and the kiss he had with Christopher Reeve.

Playing a gay character is still seen as a risk to an actor’s career in Hollywood today.

But Caine, now 85, has said he doesn’t regret his two gay roles whatsoever.

‘It was a bit dicey to do,’ the actor told Rolling Stone.

He recalled how people said it would kill his career to play gay, and it might even damage his love-life.

Caine said: ‘A couple of people said, “Do you really want to do it, Michael? People will think you’re gay.”

‘I said,  “No, they won’t. They know I’m an actor.”‘

Caine said he wanted to study his gay friends’ actions and movements before taking on the role.

He shared a romantic kiss with co-star Christopher Reeve in Deathtrap. Reeve is best known for playing Superman.

‘Neither of us had ever kissed another man before, so we drank a couple of brandies,’ Caine said.

‘Then when it came time for the dialogue, we couldn’t remember it. So the kiss was a bit of a disaster.’

Caine has appeared in more than 170 films. The most recent of these was King of Thieves, released late in 2018.

In The Celluloid Closet, historian Vito Russo reports the kiss was booed by preview audiences in Denver, Colorado.

Jordan Schilderout, in his book Murder Most Queer, says he attended a screening in which one audience member screamed, ‘No, Superman, don’t do it!’ at the moment of the Caine-Reeve kiss.

The controversy over the kiss inspired the Tom Smith song, Two Guys Kissin’ (Ruined My Life).

See also

Michael Caine: My father thought I was gay