Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin, Michael Caine recall poor actor days for 'Going in Style'

By Karen Butler  |  Updated March 31, 2017 at 7:41 AM
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March 31 (UPI) -- Oscar-winning actors Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin say they had no trouble relating to the down-on-their-luck characters they play in the heist movie Going in Style.

The comedy is a re-make of the 1979 film by the same name, which starred Art Carney, George Burns and Lee Strasberg. Like the original, the updated version follows cash-strapped seniors who turn to crime to pay the bills.

Asked by UPI at a press conference in New York recently how they -- as successful actors -- were able to connect to men struggling to make ends meet, Arkin replied, "We have good memories!"

"Very good memories," agreed Caine, 84.

"That's not something you forget in life. Been there, done that, know all about it," 79-year-old Freeman emphasized.

"If it's tough enough, you never forget it," Caine chimed in.

"I think all three of us never had a job, basically, until we were in our early 30s," Arkin, 83, noted.

"A paying, acting job," they all said, talking over each other.

"I used to do the policeman who comes in at the end of the movie and takes the crook away. I did that for 12 pounds a day, two days on a movie. I did hundreds of those," Caine quipped. "If you look up on the iPad, it looks like I did 2 million movies. But I only did one day on each of them."

So, what kept them going when it looked like their acting careers weren't taking off?

"Insanity. Madness," Arkin deadpanned.

"I can think of maybe two or three things that sort of encourage you to keep you working," Freeman offered. "One of them is that sometimes when it's almost at the very limits of your endurance, [you get a sign...] I remember once finding a $20 bill in the middle of the street on Broadway and it was like, 'Oh, it's going to be my lucky day.' And my experience has been that friends would say, 'No, no, you can't quit.' And the other one is just total embarrassment of driving a cab in New York and having somebody I know get in it. It's like: 'You? Driving a cab?' 'Yeah.' ... I was on the very verge of going to the Taxi and Limousine Service and getting the chauffeur's license when I got a job from Paul Newman. It's like, you've just got to keep going."

"When you're going through hell, keep going," Caine said, paraphrasing a quote from 20th century, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

"You did Driving Miss Daisy," the actors' 75-year-old co-star Ann-Margret pointed out, referring to Freeman's famous portrayal of a chauffeur, to which Freeman acknowledged, "Thank you, Ann-Margret."

Going in Style opens in theaters on April 7.

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