It’s a wonder that Michael Caine’s career ever got off the ground considering how much he drank during the early stages of it.

“I was a bit of a piss artist when I was younger,” the actor, 82, told the Radio Times (via The Guardian). “I used to drink a bottle of vodka a day and I was smoking several packs a day.”

But the two-time-Oscar-winner says his tendency towards overindulgence wasn’t all fun and games, but was actually the result of stress – a factor clearly exacerbated by his ways.

“I wasn’t unhappy, but it was stress,” he said. “You know, ‘Am I going to get another picture? How am I going to do this part? How am I going to remember all those lines? I’ve got to get up at six in the morning and I hope the alarm works.’”

Caine credits his second wife, Shakira Baksh, who he married in 1973, with helping him curb his hard partying ways.

“Without her, I would have been dead long ago,” he said. “I would have probably drunk myself to death.”

This article originally appeared in the New York Post's Page Six.