Michael Bay Denies Conflict With Kate Beckinsale: ‘I Truly Respect Her’

Kate Beckinsale at the Los Angeles premiere of "Love & Friendship" on May 3. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI

LOS ANGELES, June 2 (UPI) — Michael Bay is downplaying his reported conflict with Kate Beckinsale on “Pearl Harbor.”

The 51-year-old director insisted he and the 42-year-old actress are “friendly” on his website Wednesday after Beckinsale claimed he criticized her looks and weight while filming the WWII movie.

“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?” Bay wrote. “Well, totally untrue. Kate and I are friendly.”

“She is a fantastic actress, very funny, witty lady, sassy, speaks her mind, and I truly respect her,” he said. “The reporter made her story into some scandalous confrontation, when it was nothing of the sort. Spoke to Kate today and she felt she told a funny story.”

“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,” Bay added. “Note to reporters: 95 percent of leads in movies have trainers and drink green juice!”

Beckinsale had shared Bay’s criticisms on Friday’s episode of “The Graham Norton Show.” Her story sparked outrage among fans and news outlets amid growing concern about sexism in Hollywood.

“I don’t think I fit the type of actress Michael Bay had met before,” Beckinsale said. “I think he was baffled by me because my boobs weren’t bigger than my head and I wasn’t blonde.”

“I’d just had my daughter and had lost weight,” she elaborated, “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.”

Beckinsale, who co-starred with Ben Affleck and Josh Harnett in “Pearl Harbor,” also claimed Bay would praise the men, but openly put her down. The director once told Movieline he cast Beckinsale because he “didn’t want someone who was too beautiful.”


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