Kate Beckinsale Says ‘Pearl Harbor’ Director Michael Bay Body Shamed Her
Actress Kate Beckinsale said “Transformers” director Michael Bay body shamed her when they worked together on the 2001 film “Pearl Harbor,” she revealed on May 27.
Beckinsale, said on the “Graham Norton Show” that the director said some not-so-flattering comments about her appearance.
“I don’t think I fit the type of actress Michael Bay had met before,” Beckinsale said about the director who is notorious for his grumpy personality.
“I think he was baffled by me because my boobs weren’t bigger than my head and I wasn’t blonde,” said Beckinsale.
Beckinsale, who had just given birth at the time, said she was told to get in shape for the role, although she didn’t think it was relevant to the character she was playing.
“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,” she said. “And I just didn’t understand why a 1940s nurse would do that.”
The “Underworld” actress also said Bay’s comments about her during press conferences didn’t help the situation.
“When we were promoting the film, Michael was asked why he had chosen Ben [Affleck] and Josh [Hartnett], and he said, ‘I have worked with Ben before and I love him, and Josh is so manly and a wonderful actor,'” recalled Beckinsale.
“Then when he was asked about me, he’d say, ‘Kate wasn’t so attractive that she would alienate the female audience,'” said the actress.
“He kept saying it everywhere we went,” said Beckinsale, “and we went to a lot of places.”
In an interview with Movieline in 2001, Michael Bay told a reporter that he picked Beckinsale for the “Pearl Harbor” role because she wasn’t too attractive.
“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,” said Bay.
“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. She was solid, and I think the three of them had some really nice chemistry,” he added.
Beckinsale is now promoting the new Whit Stillman film she is in, “Love and Friendship,” based on Jane Austen’s novel “Lady Susan.”