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Kate Beckinsale Says Director Michael Bay Body-Shamed Her While Filming ‘Pearl Harbor’

Say what?! Kate Beckinsale claimed in a new interview that Michael Bay body-shamed her over a decade ago while they were filming the 2001 film Pearl Harbor.

Kate Beckinsale & Michael Bay
Kate Beckinsale & Michael Bay

During an appearance on the Graham Norton Show on Friday, May 27, the 42-year-old actress opened up about the director’s comments. “I think he was baffled by me because my boobs weren’t bigger than my head and I wasn’t blonde,” Beckinsale said. “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.”

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The romantic war drama — which also starred Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett and Cuba Gooding Jr. — retold the story of the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The box office smash was nominated for four Academy Awards, winning for Best Sound Editing, despite receiving several negative reviews.

Kate Bekcinsale in 2001's Pearl Harbor.
Kate Bekcinsale in 2001’s ‘Pearl Harbor.’

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Beckinsale also revealed on Friday that Bay, 51, gushed about her male costars during interviews, but continued to put her down.

“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,’” she recounted. “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!”

The Transformers director was previously criticized by Megan Fox, who compared him to Napoleon and Adolf Hitler in a 2009 interview.

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“He’s like Napoleon and he wants to create this insane, infamous mad-man reputation,” the actress told Wonderland magazine at the time. “He wants to be like Hitler on his sets, and he is. So he’s a nightmare to work for but when you get him away from set, and he’s not in director mode, I kind of really enjoy his personality because he’s so awkward, so hopelessly awkward. He has no social skills at all. And it’s endearing to watch him. He’s vulnerable and fragile in real life and then on set he’s a tyrant.”

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