"The Graham Norton Show" recalling all the times
that sad blind foolMichael Bay has told the story of why he cast her in the 2001 movie "Pearl Harbor."
"I don't think I fitted the type of actress Michael Bay the director 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." (She probably wasn't even joking with that.) "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 added. "And I just didn't understand why a 1940s nurse would do that." Fair point. Here's more:
"And then, 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'. 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."
UGH. That she remembers what he said so many years later just shows how much it must've affected her. She's right, though, he said it all: E! News dug up a 2001 article from Movieline, where Bay mansplained that women are just too threatened by attractive women to want to watch them on screen.
Here's that part of the Movieline Q&A:
Q: What made you choose Kate Beckinsale?
A: 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. 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.
Yes, please tell us more about what disturbs women. The script was the most disturbing thing about "Pearl Harbor" and it would've gone a long way with both women and men if he had just focused more on that. Bay went on to cast actresses like Megan Fox and Scarlett Johansson, who probably even passed his test for "overwhelmingly beautiful," and Scarlett at least went on to be an incredibly successful actress with both genders. (And are there any women who didn't think Kate Winslet was incredibly beautiful in "Titanic"?)
But whatever. It's not breaking news that Michael Bay is obsessed with how women look, and cares little for any talent they may possess. He's basically one of the frat guys from "The Bachelorette." At least the fan response to Beckinsale's new "Graham Norton" story is positive and on her side -- reminiscent of the recent fan defense of Keira Knightley after her "Begin Again" director decided to insult the "supermodel" out of nowhere.
Kate Beckinsale is drop-dead gorgeous, but it's more impressive that she's witty and has a great sense of humor. For example, watch her explain her genius chocolate buttocks prank in this clip from the show:
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