I have no plans to watch the Academy Awards this weekend; any enterprise that once saw fit to honor the abysmal Crash is simply not worthy of my time. But I do harbor some fond memories of ceremonies past, including the most hilarious no-show in the Oscars’ history: Michael Caine’s failure to accept his Hannah and Her Sisters Best Supporting Actor statuette. Caine was stuck in the Bahamas on that fateful evening, waiting for the Jaws: The Revenge crew to get the animatronic shark’s eyes to roll back. The punchline, of course, is that Caine sacrifice his Oscar moment for a historically awful movie—a sequel so godawful that it was one of Bad Movie Friday‘s very first honorees.
Caine seems to have a good sense of humor about his Oscar whiff, but not when the talk turns to an indictment of his Jaws: The Revenge involvement. Unlike many actors who sheepishly try to explain away their paycheck-cashing performances as failed art rather than crave commerce, Caine makes no bones about his commercial impulses, as revealed in this recent Q&A:
Given how many great films you’ve made, does it disappoint you when people want to talk about the ones that didn’t do so well?
No, what annoys me is when, as happened today, you’re doing a day’s worth of interviews and the very first question you’re asked if, “Why did you make Jaws: The Revenge?” When things like that happen, the interview becomes very short indeed.
Just out of interest, how did you reply?
I just said what I’ve always said – I made it because they paid me a lot of money! It’s like when people ask me why I made The Swarm – I made The Swarm because my mother needed a house to live in. Then I made Jaws IV because she was lonely and I needed to buy her a bigger house which she could live in with all of her friends. It’s that simple.
If only the great William H. Macy could be similarly forthright about his involvement in Marmaduke.