Michael Bay has posted a response to Kate Beckinsale’s TV show comments regarding his behavior toward her on the set of 2001’s Pearl Harbor, saying the two have always been on good terms, and dismissing the idea their discussions had anything to do with body shaming.
In a new blog post titled, simply, “Kate Beckinsale,” the Transformers director proudly displays a snapshot of the Beckinsale character poster from Pearl Harbor that he says has been hanging over his desk for the past 15 years. Bay writes:
“Kate and I are friendly. She is a fantastic actress, very funny, witty lady, sassy, speaks her mind, and I truly respect her. That’s why she has come to so many of my Christmas parties and Birthday parties. This so called ‘problem of us not liking each other’ was reported by a tabloid-esque reporter after Kate appeared on an edgy English talk show, speaking about our meeting 16 years ago while casting Pearl Harbor. The reporter made her story into some scandalous confrontation, when it was nothing of the sort. Spoke to Kate today and she felt she told a funny story.”
Watch Kate Beckinsale’s Yahoo Movies Role Recall, including her comments about Michael Bay and ‘Pearl Harbor’:
Bay’s comments come on the heels of Beckinsale’s recent appearance on the U.K.’s The Graham Norton Show, where the actress discussed the treatment she received from the acclaimed action auteur:
“I don’t think I fitted the type of actress Michael Bay the director had met before. I think he was baffled by me because my boobs weren’t bigger than my head and I wasn’t blonde. I’d just had my daughter and had lost weight, but was told that if I got the part, I’d have to work out. And I just didn’t understand why a 1940s nurse would do that.
And then, when we were promoting the film, Michael was asked why he had chosen Ben [Affleck] and Josh [Hartnett], and he said, ‘I have worked with Ben before and I love him, and Josh is so manly and a wonderful actor’. Then when he was asked about me, he’d say, 'Kate wasn’t so attractive that she would alienate the female audience.’ He kept saying it everywhere we went, and we went to a lot of places.”
It’s not the first time Beckinsale had discussed her Pearl Harbor experience in such terms; earlier last month, she had similar things to say to Yahoo Movies senior editor Kevin Polowy (watch the clip above):
“Because I wasn’t blond and my boobs weren’t bigger than my head, I didn’t make sense to him as an attractive woman. So there was a lot of panic and concern about, 'How on Earth are we going to make her attractive?’ You think you’d take that really personally but I sort of managed not to. It was so extreme I kind of didn’t.”
For his part, Bay suggests that any body-related advice he might have given Beckinsale was merely par for the Hollywood-blockbuster course:
“So I guess I was the “bad guy” 16 years ago for suggesting a trainer because she just had her new beautiful baby girl—and she was about to enter into an intensive action movie. Note to reporters: 95 % of leads in movies have trainers and drink green juice!”
We’ll see if that’s the final volley in this exchange.
Michael Bay flashback: Watch a featurette on his work as director of ‘13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi’: