Saying Kate Beckinsale is beautiful is an understatement. But apparently her Pearl Harbor director, Michael Bay, thought otherwise, and he also apparently felt the need to express those outlandish and not-so-nice thoughts.
Beckinsale appeared on The Graham Norton Show where she revealed to host Graham Norton what it was like to work alongside Bay.
"I think he was baffled by me because my boobs weren't bigger than my head and I wasn't blond. I'd just had my daughter and had lost weight, but I 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."
She also spoke out about how different, to Michael Bay’s eyes, she was from co-stars Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett.
"When we were promoting the film, Michael was asked why he had chosen Ben and Josh, 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."
On a 2001 interview with Movieline, Bay was asked point blank what made him choose Kate Beckinsale for the movie, his response:
“I didn't want someone who was too beautiful. Women feel disturbed when they see someone's too pretty. I'm not saying Kate's not pretty. When you look at Titanic, Kate Winslet is pretty, but not overwhelmingly beautiful. That makes it work better for women. Our Kate is very funny, could hang with the guys. She's not so neurotic about everything, like some actresses.“
Our takeaways from this interview answer are that he didn’t think Kate Beckinsale OR Kate Winslet were too beautiful; that women can’t appreciate other women’s beauty and in fact we feel “disturbed” by beautiful women; that Kate Beckinsale could “hang out with the guys”, whatever that character trait means; and finally that he was okay with perpetuating that irresponsible stereotype that women are “neurotic”, he might have just went ahead and called actresses “hysterical.”
After The Graham Norton Show aired, the Transformers director caught wind of what the English actress had said about his appalling behavior. Bay took to his website to shed some light on his conduct.
“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.
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!”
This response, to me, sounds more like trying to make himself look good instead of apologizing but the unfortunate misogynistic remarks he made about the stunning Kate Beckinsale.
Mr. Bay, I think you might need to get your eyes – and perhaps your attitude – checked.