'Bad Boys' director Michael Bay doesn't care about the Will Smith slap: 'There are babies getting blown up in Ukraine'
Michael Bay was not watching the Oscars live last Sunday when Will Smith charged the stage and “smacked the s***” out of Chris Rock, in the comedian-presenter’s own words.
But the director and producer famously synonymous with mega-action movies (aka “Bayhem”) was quickly flooded with texts, likely because of his shared history with Smith.
Before helming movies like The Rock, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor and Transformers, Bay made his directorial debut with the Will Smith-Martin Lawrence action comedy Bad Boys, then later directed its 2003 sequel Bad Boys II.
“First of all, it’s wrong to begin with,” Bay tells us while promoting his latest actioner, the bank heist-gone-wrong thriller Ambulance (watch above). “But that’s all people are talking about. And I don’t really care. Hollywood gets really self-absorbed. There are babies getting blown up in Ukraine right now. We should be talking about that.”
More than 100 children have died since Russia invaded Ukraine, according to UNICEF.
Bay did vouch for Smith, whom Bad Boys helped turn into one of the biggest stars on the planet — and whose reputation as one of the nicest guys in Hollywood has taken a hit in the wake of his assault on Rock.
“I’ve worked with him, he is not that guy,” says Bay, who like many people, thought the slap was a comedy bit until he saw Smith yelling at Rock from his seat. “I’ve never seen him lose his cool like that. I thought it was set up ’cause I saw the smirk, and I’ve been on set when Will screws with people, when he’s joking with people.
“Listen, it was a slap. It wasn’t a punch. He’s very good at fighting, he’s trained at that … But it’s wrong to begin with.”
Ambulance opens in theaters Friday, April 8.
—Video produced by Jen Kucsak and edited by Jimmie Rhee
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