SIR Michael Caine was left awestruck when his SLEUTH co-star LORD LAURENCE OLIVIER banned him from addressing him by his official title.
The actor admits he was nervous before starring in the 1972 mystery alongside the revered Olivier, who was made a Lord just two years prior.
But Caine insists Olivier remained down-to-earth despite his prestigious status.
He recalls, "Before we started the movie, he sent me a letter - I think he was Lord Olivier then. He sent me a letter saying, 'It's just occurred to me that you may be wondering how to address me because I have this title. From the moment we shake hands for the first time, I will be Larry forever.' Which was nice, it's wonderful - but you think about the necessity to send that letter. You know, I'm Sir Michael Caine and I can't imagine when I started doing (the 2007 remake) Sleuth with Jude Law, sending him a letter saying, 'You may be wondering how to address me, you may call me Michael.' It's amazing."
And the 76 year old will always be grateful to Olivier, who passed away in 1989, for believing in his acting ability.
Caine adds, "We did a scene, Larry and I, basically I had the main part in it. He goes to shoot me and I burst into tears begging him not to kill me on the stairs in Sleuth. When the director said cut, he (Olivier) looked at me and said, 'I thought I had an assistant. I see I have a partner.' That was the greatest compliment ever paid to me as an actor. That was his thinking, because he was the greatest actor we had."