Michael Caine

This ignites me...

His Name is Michael Caine

Digitas UK's chief creative officer Emma de la Fosse found Caine helped teach her how to deal with hard knocks

By Emma de la Fosse

When I was in my early 20s I was going through a bit of a difficult time. The advertising business back in the 1990s was a much tougher place than it is now and people weren’t nearly as aware of mental health issues, depression and the like.

We were working at an agency in Knightsbridge and Michael Caine was doing a book signing nearby in Harrods.

I’d always liked Michael Caine’s films. Michael Caine would always be appearing as Michael Caine, regardless of genre or character. There was something very comforting about that.

My art director knew I was a fan and popped over to get me a signed copy.

Like any autobiography it was the story of his life but woven throughout was what I suppose you could call a philosophy, a way of looking at things. He’d come from a working-class background, found success late and had experienced many setbacks along the way. Yet it was the way in which he dealt with those knocks, his way of building relationships with people and how he approached his craft that truly inspired me. One of his guiding principles was ‘Use the difficulty’. Whenever you are in a negative situation, look hard and try to see the positive thing within the problem. If you can see every problem as an opportunity, you will have no shortage of opportunities in life. Anyway, his outlook on life gave me the clarity of vision and energy that I needed to get my life back on track.

And that was the start of Michael Caine being my buddha, my Confucius.

Not a lot of people know that.


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