His side of the story. Michael Bay took to his official website on Wednesday, June 1, to respond to Kate Beckinsale’s story about him forcing her to diet and exercise on the set of his 2001 movie Pearl Harbor. The director, 51, insists that the actress’ quotes were misconstrued, and that he and Beckinsale are actually still friends.
“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?” he wrote, sharing a photo of a Pearl Harbor poster featuring Beckinsale, 42. “And they went on to suggest that Kate and I don’t like each other?”
Bay defended his relationship with the Love & Friendship star, claiming that the two remain on good terms. “Well, totally untrue. Kate and I are friendly,” he wrote. “She is a fantastic actress, very funny, witty lady, sassy, speaks her mind, and I truly respect her.”
As previously reported, Beckinsale made an appearance on the Friday, May 27, episode of the U.K.’s Graham Norton Show, where she said that Bay questioned her looks and forced her to work out and diet while filming Pearl Harbor.
“I think he was baffled by me because my boobs weren’t bigger than my head and I wasn’t blonde,” Beckinsale recounted. “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.”
Furthermore, the brunette beauty insinuated that Bay valued Pearl Harbor's male actors over their female counterparts. Beckinsale explained that the Hollywood vet would praise her hunky costars Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett in interviews, while she was given backhanded compliments.
“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 told Graham Norton. “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!”
However, Bay stressed that he never meant any disrespect and revealed that he and Beckinsale spoke via phone to clear the air.
“Spoke to Kate today and she felt she told a funny story,” Bay concluded on his website. “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!”
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