While Kate Beckinsale stunned in “Pearl Harbour” as the love interest of both leading men, director Michael Bay wasn’t too keen on the actress’ looks.
During an appearance on “The Graham Norton Show,” Beckinsale spoke out about Bay body shaming her while doing press with him on the 2001 film.
“I think he was baffled by me because my boobs weren’t bigger than my head, and I wasn’t blond,” she said.
Beckinsale gave birth to her daughter shortly before working on the film and was told that she would have to work out more if she was cast.
“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,” she said. “And I just didn’t understand why a 1940’s nurse would do that.”
Bay’s negative comments didn’t stop when the film wrapped. While promoting it, Bay raved about Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett, his two leading men, but put Beckinsale 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,'” Beckinsale said. “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,” she added.
In a 2001 interview with Movieline, Bay said he picked Beckinsale because he “didn’t want someone who was too beautiful.”
“Women feel disturbed when they see someone’s too pretty,” he said.
He tried to explain his rationale, but this time at the expense of another British actress.
“I’m not saying Kate’s not pretty,” he said. “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.”
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