He learned on the job.
Michael Caine has revealed that he didn’t know how to drive when he shot the 1969 classic “The Italian Job,” which features one of the most famous car chases in movie history. In it, a trio of Minis drive through, over and under the city of Turin, at times on the tops of buildings and in sewer tunnels.
“There’s a special thing about this film, personally, because I didn’t have a license and I couldn’t drive,” the 86-year-old told guests at an event in Oxford, U.K., Thursday night celebrating the 50th anniversary of the film and the 60th anniversary of the Mini, The Sun reported.
Caine, who was 35 during the making of the film, rides shotgun – which is on the left in the British subcompact – in the scene, but took advantage of the closed roads to get some wheel time between takes.
“But we had such big areas for the Minis to move, you didn’t need a license because they were closed to ordinary traffic. So for me it was incredible because I learned to drive on the movie,” he said.
“Of course, the great star of the movie, which we didn’t know, was the Mini. We just used Minis because it was a new car out and it became a worldwide success.”
Caine’s revelation is not the only “Italian Job” news to surface in recent weeks. An orange Lamborghini Miura featured in the opening credits scene, where it drives into a tunnel and is apparently destroyed, was rediscovered and authenticated by the automaker 50 years after it was sold and its connection to the film lost to history.