Michael Bay has made a lot of huge summer movies over the years. Some are great, many are terrible, but most of them tend to make a lot of money, which is why he always has more big money projects coming down the pipeline. One of those past summer films is 2001’s Pearl Harbor. And while that film is a largely forgettable affair, one person who won’t be forgetting about it and her experience working with director Michael Bay is Kate Beckinsale.
Apparently, Bay wasn’t a fan of her looks:
“When we were promoting the film, Michael was asked why he had chosen Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett…He said, ‘I have worked with Ben before and I love him, and Josh is so manly and a wonderful actor.’ 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!”
You have to be smoking something special to think Kate Beckinsale, who went on to carry the Underworld series on her sexy PVC clad shoulders, isn’t very attractive. But Kate figured she was just a little too different for the blockbuster director to wrap his head around.
“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.”
Bay’s notes about Beckinsale’s body weren’t limited to the press run of Pearl Harbor, either. While casting for the role, she was given the old ‘get hotter’ directive from above.
“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.”
That’s not even the shocking part of the story. Shortly after the film came out in 2001, Beckinsale revealed just how ‘thorough’ they were before hiring her.
“I had a nice shirt and jacket on, but they made me stand up, lift them up and be photographed from every angle,” she told the London Evening Standard. “They might have done it to everyone, but I think they knew I’d had a baby and just wanted to make sure I didn’t have a giant arse. They’re quite interested in what your body looks like.”