The actor Michael Caine arrived at City Cinemas on the Upper East Side for the premiere of his new film Is Anybody There? on Monday, April 6, brimming with pride in his latest work.
“I convinced my wife I’m dying,” he bragged.
In the film, the 76-year-old British star of stage and screen plays an aging magician who is slowly nearing his death. Yet, he assured the Daily Transom that the movie wasn’t entirely gloomy. “It’s a very funny film,” Mr. Caine said with a smile.
Afterward, the heralded actor joined director John Crowley and a star-studded guest list for an after-party in posh Plaza Hotel’s famous Oak Room.
Several winsome young starlets in attendance were undaunted by the film’s dark themes. “We all age, so it’s inevitable,” said the dainty 20-year-old 30 Rock actress Katrina Bowden. “I don’t dread it.”
“I’ve always been kind of upset that in this country as a whole, our culture kind of focuses on the beauty of youth,” added 22-year-old Dreama Walker of the perennially youthful Gossip Girl. Ms. Walker said she looks forward to being old and eccentric: “I think it’s going to be awesome.”
The balding men in the room begged to differ.
“I fucking hate it,” said 56-year-old filmmaker Paul Haggis. Mr. Haggis left the romanticizing to the younger generation. “You do that when you’re 23,” he said. “In your 50s, it’s really fucking horrible.”
The Daily Transom pushed Mr. Haggis to elaborate. “Why? Because you’re closer to death, aren’t you, for chrissakes? It’s not a good thing!”
“Aging, in all honesty, is really threatening,” noted the chrome-domed musician Moby. “One of the good things about being bald is that, to an extent, I look the same as I did 10 years ago. And I guess I’m hoping that will be true 10 years from now. It’s not like I’m going to start going gray, and it’s not like I’m going to start losing my hair.”
To settle this age business, the Daily Transom went straight to the source: Peter Harness, the 33-year-old screenwriter who inspired all this heaviness.
“I think after you reach about 70 or 80, there’s a definite point where you cease to give a fuck,” Mr. Harness said.
So the key is just to get really old? “Well,” he said, “it must be wonderful to not give a shit about getting laid or impressing anybody or doing anything for anybody else.”
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