Kate Beckinsale on Michael Bay’s Body Shaming: ‘It Surprised the Sh*t Out of Me’

Even though she was once body shamed by him, Kate Beckinsale has nothing but kind words for Michael Bay.

As previously reported, Beckinsale revealed this past May that the Pearl Harbor director thought she wasn’t attractive enough for their 2001 movie and tried to get her to work out after the actress had given birth. At the time, the Underworld actress said on The Graham Norton Show, “I think he was baffled by me because my boobs weren’t bigger than my head and I wasn’t blonde.”

Since then, Beckinsale has seemingly changed her tune, explaining that it’s time to let bygones be bygones.

“It was such an old story that I’d been asked about a million times,” Beckinsale tells Yahoo Movies of the hubbub. “It surprised the shit out of me, and him really. Pearl Harbor was a long time ago. It’s true there was a bit of that going on, but the shaming of people is something I’m against in general. I’ve seen him since, and we’ve gotten over it. I didn’t feel it was personal, and I wish him nothing but the best.”

Bay was reportedly hesitant to cast Beckinsale in his movie because of her looks According to Beckinsale during her Graham Norton interview, the filmmaker had tried to set her up with a trainer and even gone on to tell reporters that he had only chosen Beckinsale for the part because she wasn’t pretty.

“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,’” Beckinsale said earlier this year. “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.”

After the comments made headlines, Bay defended his remarks by insisting that he had wanted to hire a trainer for Beckinsale because her role was very physical, not because he wanted her to lose weight.

“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?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 wrote on his website. “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. Note to reporters: 95 % of leads in movies have trainers and drink green juice!”

Bay has yet to explain why he called Kate Winsletnot overwhelmingly beautiful” and why “that makes it work better for women” audiences.