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Michael Bay Is the Michael Bay of Bombastic Quotes

Director Michael Bay arrives to the Miami Special Screening of
Photo: Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images

To some people, Michael Bay is cinema’s antichrist, a man wilfully ignorant of coherent narrative and dialogue. To others, he’s just a guy who makes entertaining popcorn flicks. Bay, whose latest movie, Transformers: Age of Extinction, is out this weekend, doesn’t really care where you fall. He usually responds to condemnation of his work with the same type of bombast we see in his movies. Take a look. This shit just got real.

On looking for smaller films and his next project
“It would be nice to not have to do effects and big car crashes. I’m waiting for the great written word.” —Wesleyan University’s paper, February 1999

On patriotism
“I’m, like, a true American.” —GQ, July 2011

On the possibility of changing his style
“I don’t change my style for anybody. Pussies do that.” —GQ, July 2011

On criticisms of his work
“These are just fucking movies. They’re supposed to be fun.” —Details, May 2007 

On his target audience
“I make movies for teenage boys. Oh, dear, what a crime.” —New York Times, July 2003

On the look of his movies
“It’s just a style. When Orson Welles loaded all those cinematic tricks into one movie, they hated him for it.” —Wired, June 2007

On inspiration
“Some nights I sleep like a baby. Other nights it’s, Oh God, I just came up with a bomb shot.” —GQ, July 2011

On Hollywood reboot culture
“Hollywood has to start finding more original stuff … They’ve got to start by not depending on, ‘What can we churn back out? How can we regurgitate this?’ That’s why I want to redo the feel of Transformers. That’s why I wanted to start with a new cast. You want it to feel fresh, and you want to make it feel different than the other three.” —Maxim, April 2013

On working with Transformers, which (reminder) aren’t real
“It’s a bitch working with robots. Ten thousand moving parts and you have to make them fucking emote.” —Details, May 2007

On studio difficulties during the production of Pain and Gain
“Well, there were times that the studio tried to shut me down. ‘Why do you need those two days?’ ‘Because it’s called a fucking ending. We need the fucking ending. We either shoot it now or shoot it later, alright? Go ahead! Shut me down! Come on down to Florida!’” —Moviefone, April 2013

On Transformers 2
“The real fault with [Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen] is that it ran into a mystical world. When I look back at it, that was crap.” —Empire, March 2011

On Transformers 2 (redux)
“It was kind of a mess, wasn’t it?” —Hero Complex, January 2011

On shooting Transformers 4 in Texas
“I wanted to go back to more down-home. They wanted me not to go to Texas, and I said, ‘Fuck it. I’m going to Texas.’ There’s a shot of Texas because there’s no more down-home place, you know what I’m saying?” —SlashFilm, June 2014

On his college experience
“Wesleyan was very cliquey. They all wore dark clothing, and they were always uggghhhhh.” —GQ, July 2011

On internet critics
“There are only about 50 people on the Internet. If you look at their names, same people, same names. They don’t seem like they really get into movies. A couple of them are smart, but some are just they seem like they hate the world.” —L.A. Times, May 2001

On his first film
“I was 24 years old. Playboy approached me to do a centerfold video. I was so shy, I could barely ask [Kerri] Kendall to take her top off. But by Sunday I was like, ‘No! Do it in the leopard G-string!’” —Newsweek, April 2013

On shooting a Victoria’s Secret ad
“They bring in tons of heels, and I walk in there knowing nothing about fashion. I just go from a guy’s perspective. I say, ‘Those suck. What are those effin’ chunky heels? Get ’em out of here.’ And they’re like, ‘But these are in style!’ ‘I don’t care. They’re gonna be out of style in a week. Guys don’t like chunky heels. Get rid of ’em.’ —Maxim, April 2013

On filming women
“Films make everything too beautiful. That’s not real life. Honestly, doing Victoria’s Secret is the most nonsexual job in the world. I don’t pick up anybody I work with. It’s kind of bizarre, but I could be shooting a glazed donut. There have only been a couple of moments where I actually went, ‘Wow!’” —Maxim, April 2013

On dating
“It’s like, you know, I had a reporter here who said, ‘Would you ever date a girl who didn’t like your movies?’ I’m like, Yeah. Yeah. Um. Yee-aah. That’s, you know, you don’t have to like what I do. You know? It’s just something I like doing.” —Esquire, July 2001

On dealing with difficult actors
“Some directors will cower, but I don’t take shit.” —Movieline, May 2001

On working with Martin Lawrence on Bad Boys
“By week two, Martin was being a dick to me. And I was like, ‘What is this attitude?’ He didn’t trust the white man. That was the deal… [Eventually] I took him aside and said, ‘Dude, what’s your deal? I’m busting my ass to make you look good, make you look funny. And you just keep belittling me.’ And then here’s the speech, almost like it was ready to come out. He says, ‘I’m a black man that made it from nothing!’ And I said, ‘You know what? I’m a white guy who made it from nothing, too. I grew up in the fuckin’ Valley.’ Instant respect.” —GQ, July 2011

On directing Sean Connery
“He kept calling me ‘boy.’ And one time he called me a ‘cock.’ [In Connery accent] ‘You cocksucker!’ It was his last day of the shoot, and he didn’t like holding his breath underwater. I had United States SEALs holding him down because there was a fireball going over the water, and if he came up, he would burn his face off. So whatever, he called me names.” —GQ, July 2011

On Megan Fox calling him Hitler (part one)
“I wasn’t hurt, because I know that’s just Megan. Megan loves to get a response. And she does it in kind of the wrong way.  I’m sorry, Megan. I’m sorry I made you work twelve hours. I’m sorry that I’m making you show up on time. Movies are not always warm and fuzzy.” —GQ, July 2011

On Megan Fox calling him Hitler (part two)
“P.S. Megan Fox, welcome back. I promise no alien robots will harm you in any way during the production of this motion picture. Please consult your Physician when working under my direction because some side effects can occur, such as mild dizziness, intense nausea, suicidal tendencies, depression, minor chest hair growth, random internal hemorrhaging and inability to sleep. As some directors may be hazardous to your health, please consult your Doctor to determine if this is right for you.” —Shoot for the Edit, October 2009

On Schindler’s List
“Okay, people, like, critics especially, they take movies too seriously. I mean, how are you going to compare Armageddon to Schindler’s List? You’ve got, like, an opera against rock ‘n’ roll music. And you’ve got the reviewer from the classical section reviewing Armageddon. It’s like, dude, wake up!” —Esquire, July 2001

On Schindler’s List, again
“I made Bad Boys because I thought, I’m not going to go out there and be arrogant and make a Schindler’s List. I’m going out there to make a movie that could be entertaining. That’s what I was good at.”—Entertainment Weekly, July 1998

On people pissed that he was chosen to direct a film about Pearl Harbor
“Shame on those people. Like, I see these people on the Internet saying, ‘Oh, it’s a travesty that Michael Bay is doing this story.’ ‘Oh, why’s he doing it?’ ‘Oh, he’s going to wreck it.’ It’s like, shame on those people, you know? Shame on them!” —Esquire, July 2001

On people pissed that he was chosen to direct the first Transformers
“I’ve heard so many people say, ‘Michael Bay, you’ve destroyed my childhood.’ … I knew there were fans. I didn’t know there were people who’d hunt you down. I urge them to watch the 1986 animated movie, go watch the cartoon. You’ll want to shoot yourself.” —Wired, June 2007

On being made fun of for owning two Ferarris
“I breed my devil spawn in the trunk.” —L.A. Times, August 1998

On the difficulties of making Pearl Harbor
“But I must tell you the hardest thing about doing this movie was getting 12 women in period lipstick. It was much harder than blowing up six ships and having 14 planes in the year. Waiting for period lipstick — that’s where I go crazy! I don’t know why period lipstick takes so long, but it just took them forever.” —The Hollywood Reporter, April 2001

On being a baller
“The scene where Martin shoots the guy out of the plane. I said to the line producer, ‘This is where the audience claps. This is the end of the movie.’ He was like, ‘I don’t care. We’re not doing the shot.’ He was just a studio flunky. I was literally going to punch him out … They used to watch dailies where you do the clap with the slate. So just to screw with them, I put the check [on the slate and wrote] TO COLUMBIA PICTURES, FROM MICHAEL BAY, $25,000.” —GQ, July 2011

On anatomically correct vajayjays
“We bought $75,000 worth of sex toys to stock the sex-toy warehouse. I could have filmed the crew coming in that day because they’d stop and see these things—anatomically correct vajayjays and this butt (everyone would touch the butt because it felt real)—and it was hysterical. We were going to return all the sex toys to get three-quarters of our money back, but they started disappearing. We were like, ‘Who is taking the sex toys?’” —Newsweek, April 2013

On 3-D
“Wow, I read these morons on the internet who think they are in the know. ‘We have problems with our 3D????’ Really? Come into my edit room and I will show you beautiful 3D. There has never been a live action show that has pushed the boundaries of 3D like Transformers 3.” —, November 2011

On meeting Steven Spielberg years after working on the storyboards for Raiders of the Lost Ark
“The first thing I ever said to Steven [Spielberg] was, ‘I really thought Raiders of the Lost Ark was going to suck.” —GQ, July 2011

On criticism of product placement in Transformers
”That saved me $3 million on the budget It’s not whoring the movie out.” —Entertainment Weekly, July 2007

On Hugo Weaving’s complaints about doing voice work for Transformers
“Do you ever get sick of actors that make $15 million a picture, or even $200,000 for voiceover work that took a brisk one hour and 43 minutes to complete, and then complain about their jobs? With all the problems facing our world today, do these grumbling thespians really think people reading the news actually care about trivial complaints that their job wasn’t ‘artistic enough’ or ‘fulfilling enough’? … What happened to people who had integrity, who did a job, got paid for their hard work, and just smiled afterward? Be happy you even have a job—let alone a job that pays you more than 98% of the people in America. I have a wonderful idea for all those whiners: They can give their ‘unhappy job money’ to a wonderful Elephant Rescue. It’s the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Africa. I will match the funds they donate.” —, October 2012

On being attacked by air-conditioning-wielding men on the set of Transformers 4 in Hong Kong
“Yes, some drugged up guys were being belligerent asses to my crew for hours in the morning of our first shoot day in Hong Kong. One guy rolled metal carts into some of my actors trying to shake us down for thousands of dollars to not play his loud music or hit us with bricks.

“Every vendor where we shot got paid a fair price for our inconvenience, but he wanted four times that amount. I personally told this man and his friends to forget it we were not going to let him extort us. He didn’t like that answer. So an hour later he came by my crew as we were shooting, carrying a long air conditioner unit. He walked right up to me and tried to smack my face, but I ducked, threw the air unit on the floor and pushed him away. That’s when the security jumped on him. But it took seven big guys to subdue him. It was like a Zombie in Brad Pitt’s movie World War Z—he lifted seven guys up and tried to bite them. He actually bit into one of the guards Nike shoe, insane. Thank god it was an Air Max, the bubble popped, but the toe was saved.

“Then it took fifteen Hong Kong cops in riot gear to deal with these punks. In all, four guys were arrested for assaulting the officers.

“After that, we had a great day shooting here in Hong Kong. The place couldn’t be better.” —, October 2013

On his penchant for interior design
“I read home décor magazines all the time. It’s the way to stay hip and it helps me when I think of sets.” —New York Times, July 2003

Michael Bay’s Biggest, Most Bombastic Quotes