'I truly respect her,' the 'Pearl Harbor' director says

By Oliver Gettell
Updated June 01, 2016 at 12:00 PM EDT
Credit: Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images
  • Movie

Michael Bay wants the world to know he and Kate Beckinsale are on good terms — and he’s even got the poster to prove it.

After recent comments made by Beckinsale on The Graham Norton Show seemed to skewer Bay’s filmmaking style, particularly his way of working with women, the Pearl Harbor director released a statement on his personal website Wednesday saying a humorous anecdote had been blown out of proportion.

Posting a photo of a Pearl Harbor poster featuring Beckinsale, Bay wrote, “This poster has hung proudly over my desk for 15 years. Yesterday I read in the press that I don’t think Kate Beckinsale is ‘a stunning beauty,’ huh? And they went on to suggest that Kate and I don’t like each other?”

“Well, totally untrue,” he continues. “Kate and I are friendly. She is a fantastic actress, very funny, witty lady, sassy, speaks her mind, and I truly respect her.”

Last Friday on Graham Norton, Beckinsale raised eyebrows with her recollection of working with Bay on 2001’s Pearl Harbor. “I don’t think I fit the type of actress Michael Bay had met before,” she said. “I think he was baffled by me because my boobs weren’t bigger than my head and I wasn’t blonde.”

She added, “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.”

In his statement Wednesday, Bay said a “tabloid-esque reporter” turned Beckinsale’s story “into some scandalous confrontation, when it was nothing of the sort.” He added, “Spoke to Kate today and she felt she told a funny story.”

As for his suggestion years ago that Beckinsale get a personal trainer, Bay said, “Note to reporters: 95% of leads in movies have trainers and drink green juice!”

Read Bay’s full statement on michaelbay.com.

Pearl Harbor

  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 183 minutes
  • Michael Bay