Following Michael Bay’s cringe-inducing speech at CES, we take a look at the backstory of one of Hollywood’s most divisive directors.
During a presentation to endorse Samsung’s curved television screen, Bay quickly became flummoxed following the failure of his autocue before excusing himself and walking off.
Writing about the incident later on his blog, he said: “Wow! I just embarrassed myself at CES – I was about to speak for Samsung for this awesome Curved 105-inch UHD TV. I rarely lend my name to any products, but this one is just stellar. I got so excited to talk, that I skipped over the Exec VP’s intro line and then the teleprompter got lost. Then the prompter went up and down – then I walked off.”
The 48-year-old is one of the world’s most successful directors and producers, having been at the helm of some of the box office’s biggest blockbusters, including Armageddon, Pearl Harbor and the wildly successful Transformers film franchise. His penchant for special effects and slow motion explosions has led to heavy criticism, and he consistantly appears in the user-generated list of Worst Directors by the Internet Movie Database (IMDB). His latest release Pain & Gain earned the director one star from reviewer Tim Robey.
However, Bay himself appears nonplussed by his critics, saying: “I make movies for teenage boys. Oh, dear, what a crime.”
He became enchanted by the world of film making after interning for George Lucas aged 15 filing storyboards for Raiders of the Lost Arc. After studying film at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena he directed several advertising campaigns and music videos, including Meat Loaf, Tina Turner and Lionel Richie.
His first feature film Bad Boys starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence grossed more than $160 million worldwide during 1995 and catapulted Mr Bay to fame. He has also directed Nicolas Cage and Sean Connery in The Rock and has remade well-known horror classics The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th.
The director/producer and actress have since made up
Actress Megan Fox compared Bay to Hitler during an interview during 2009, claiming he was “a nightmare to work for”. Steven Spielberg told the director to fire Fox from the third instalment in the Transformers franchise, who was later replaced by British model Rosie Huntingdon-Whitley. The pair appeared to have buried the hatchet after Bay announced Fox would be starring in his update of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which is slated for release later this year.
The director also angered hardcore fans of the lovable reptiles by altering the characters’ backstories to make them aliens rather than beloved sewer-dwellers raised on a diet of pizza.
Bay has a lot to distract him from his CES gaffe, with Transformers 5 and horror films Ouija and The Purge 2 in the pipe line. Let’s just hope he doesn’t have to do any more public speaking.