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Michael Bay built a second Stonehenge to blow up in Transformers: The Last Knight

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Although the shapeshifting robots themselves are always digital creations, with thousands of moving pieces, the human stars of the Transformers movies always inhabit real locations.

They’re much more fun to blow up.

Laura Haddock, who costars in this summer’s latest sequel, Transformers: The Last Knight, says the franchise’s bombastic director even recreated an ancient location – because they wouldn’t let him detonate the real one.

“Michael’s sets are practical, so you would think that maybe 90 percent of this film is done on green screen, and it’s really not,” Haddock tells EW. “He loves an explosion. He absolutely loves them, so if he can use them safely, he will. Often you’re running through what feels like a genuine … battlefield. Something that kind of builds your adrenaline. You’re absolutely experience what it feels like to have an explosion go off just behind you. And you’re just running, running for your life.”

Scary? A little. Although she said they take pains to guarantee safety. “Some days, you go home and you’re just covered in, you know, bruises and cuts, and you just think, ‘That was one of the best days I’ve ever had,’” Haddock says.

One of the battlefields in the movie, which links the Transformers history to Arthurian legend, was this actual ancient site in the fields of England:

“I mean the man took a whole crew and cast and unit to Stonehenge and then by the time he had made it down the road, built another Stonehenge just so he could blow it up,” Haddock says.

Scouting, it begins

A post shared by Michael Bay (@michaelbay) on

You know there was a moment when Bay asked if they’d let him blow up the real one.

“Oh, that question was most definitely asked,” Haddock says.

Transformers: The Last Knight opens on June 23.