Photo Credit: Michael Kovac/Getty Images For Maui Film Festival
It's no secret that Megan Fox and Transformers director Michael Bay weren't the chummiest of pals while filming the first two installments of the blockbuster film franchise -- so few were surprised when it was announced in May 2010 that Fox would not be returning for the third film in the robotic saga. But it turns out that the Michael-Megan on-set friction was not what got Fox fired from the upcoming Transformers: Dark of the Moon (in theaters June 29).
Though Fox said at the time that it was her choice to depart, Bay now reveals that it was executive producer Steven Spielberg who made the call to dump Fox after some incendiary comments she made to the press. "You know the Hitler thing," Bay told The Daily Mail in explaining why Fox was jettisoned from the production. "Steven (Spielberg) said, 'Fire her right now.'"
The "Hitler thing" refers to a wildly indiscreet interview Fox gave to Wonderland magazine in 2009, shortly before the third Transformers was set to start filming. In it, the actress not-so-favorably compared Bay to a certain historical villain. "He's like Napoleon and he wants to create this insane, infamous mad-man reputation," she said. "He wants to be like Hitler on his sets, and he is. So he's a nightmare to work for, but when you get him away from set, and he's not in director mode, I kind of really enjoy his personality because he's so awkward, so hopelessly awkward. He has no social skills at all. And it's endearing to watch him."
The backhanded compliment she was giving Bay in that comment did not go over well with Spielberg, nor did it endear Fox to the hard-working crew members of the films, who lashed back at the starlet in a notorious open letter on Michael Bay's website.
The letter from the crew credited Bay with discovering Fox, and went on to say: "She was famous! She was the next Angelina Jolie, hooray! Wait a minute, two of us worked with Angelina -- second thought -- she's no Angelina. You see, Angelina is a professional. We know this quite intimately because we've had the tedious experience of working with the dumb-as-a-rock Megan Fox on both Transformers movies."
Once the "Hitler" comments were made public, people started coming out of the woodwork telling tales about Fox's bad behavior on set, including screenwriter Ehren Kruger. He told GQ that Fox "seemed like an actress who didn't want to be part of it."
In an interview earlier this month with the L.A. Times, Transformers star Shia LaBeouf also had some interesting comments about the Fox-Bay imbroglio. "Megan developed this Spice Girl strength, this woman-empowerment (stuff)," said LaBeouf. "(It) made her feel awkward about her involvement with Michael, who some people think is a very lascivious filmmaker, the way he films women." LaBeouf was very complimentary towards Victoria's Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Fox's replacement in Transformers, saying that due to her modeling background, Huntington-Whiteley seemed more comfortable with the sex-symbol role than Fox was.
All of that said, the big takeaway here is that comparing your boss to one of the most loathed men in history is probably not a good career move.