Michael Caine's surprising rehearsal trick

Michael Caine tells Lesley Stahl how he learns his lines, how he found his wife and why there's a plaque in London bearing his name

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At age 83, with six Oscar nominations under his belt -- not to mention a knighthood -- actor Michael Caine knows he's come a long way from his working class cockney roots. On 60 Minutes this week, he reflects on his career and on his latest highly acclaimed performance, as a retired composer and conductor in the movie "Youth."

In the unseen interview clip above, Caine tells Lesley Stahl he reads his lines a minimum of 1,000 times before he sets foot on a set. And he reads only his own lines, not those of his fellow actors. "I don't want to be in the situation where I know what he's going to say," he explains. "I know what my bloody answer is. I've said it a thousand times. So I listen to what he says and that's what makes the difference."

1986: Michael Caine's first 60 Minutes interview

His wife, Shakira, has grown accustomed to hearing Caine rehearse -- whether they're on the beach in Miami or on a boat in the South of France. "He goes over and over his lines and that has become a way of life with him," she says. "I realize that, and he realizes too, that excellence is only by hard work, you know?"

How a TV commercial changed Michael Caine's life

Caine also explains in juicy detail how he and Shakira first met. Caine tells Stahl he first caught sight of his future wife in a television commercial for Maxwell House coffee set in Brazil. Instantly smitten, he decided he would go to Brazil the next day to find her.

That very night, he ran into a friend who worked in the advertising business and knew the gorgeous woman in the ad. Caine says he told his friend he was going to Brazil to find her. "You don't have to," his friend explained, according to Caine. "She's not Brazilian. She's Indian -- and she lives in London."

If finding Shakira was easy, convincing her to go out with him was anything but. She tells Stahl her friends warned her that Caine, already famous, would break her heart. He says he had to ask her 10 times before she said yes. "I phoned her 10 times and on the tenth time, I thought, 'If she doesn't come out with me this time, forget it. I'm not going to phone her again.' And she had got so fed up with me phoning, she wanted to stop the phone calls, so she said she'd come out. And it was as close as that that we didn't have the 44 happiest years of our lives."

If Caine is living the good life now, that wasn't always the case. He came from a family of fish market porters in South London, and learned to escape the limitations of that world through books and movies. Now, his honors and accolades are a form of vindication, proof that he's made it. One of them is a plaque on the site of the hospital where he was born that reads "Sir Michael Caine, film legend."

An unusual honor for Sir Michael Caine

In the unseen clip above, he takes Lesley to see his plaque and recounts a story from the day it was unveiled. He says all the "nobs" -- the mayor, members of parliament and other "top people" -- were standing around when one of them turned to Caine and said, "You know, you're supposed to be dead to have one of these?" Caine didn't miss a beat. "I said, 'Well, if it's any consolation, I feel like crap today.'"

These videos were originally published on December 20, 2015.