‘Pain & Gain’ and the mythos of Michael Bay

‘Pain & Gain’ and the mythos of Michael Bay
Actress Bar Paly, left, director/producer Michael Bay and actress Rebel Wilson arrive at the L.A. premiere of “Pain & Gain” at the TCL Chinese Theatre on Monday.
(Matt Sayles / Invision/AP)

“Pain & Gain” director Michael Bay papers the walls of his mansion with hundred-dollar bills. He considers Dwayne Johnson, the star of his new film, to be a “roided out” freak. When asked about his recent run-ins with actress Megan Fox, whose career he helped boost by casting her in his “Transformers” franchise, Bay says, “You know what they got a million of? Pretty girls with big boobs who will bend over a car and pretend like they’re fixing it. If Megan Fox didn’t want to do that, I’ll replace her with a Victoria’s Secret model.”

None of the above is true, of course. Bay has never said anything of the sort.


But the director’s public persona is apparently such that when a Bay impersonator went on SiriusXM Radio Thursday, ranting like a drunken lunatic, listeners were duped -- including a reliable Times source.

It took a series of frantic calls to Sirius executives before the host who conducted the fake interview, Matt Besser, called us to fill us in on the joke.


“Michael Bay would have to have done a lot of cocaine to say the things we had him say on the radio yesterday,” said Besser, who hosts the “Back Room” show on Rawdog 99.

REVIEW: Bay’s ‘Pain & Gain’ is bargain-budget; still excessive

Besser said his station received a slew of calls over the Bay impersonation – mostly from angry Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fans.

Bay is producing the next Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film, and has decided to change the Turtles’ back story from being “teenage mutants” to aliens. The geek universe is livid at him.


“We had our Bay talk about how he just makes the characters to all his movies aliens,” said Besser. “You’ll still go see it. And then he’ll wallpaper his house with money.”

It’s not clear why Bay invites such mythos -- although the director certainly doesn’t always make it easy on himself. Earlier this week he received criticism for telling his “Pain & Gain” star Johnson, who wrestles professionally as “The Rock,” “to grow up and stop wrestling 300-pound men.”

Johnson graciously responsed on Twitter: “I agree - I’ll switch to women.”

The irony is that the director, known more for his box-office appeal than his filmic sophistication, appears to have a genuine critical success on his hands with “Pain & Gain.”


The New Yorker favorably likened the film to Robert Altman’s masterpiece “The Player.”

With that kind of praise, perhaps the days of Michael Bay as kicking can are nearing their end.

At least for one more year, when Bay’s “Teenage Ninja Alien Turtle” film is scheduled for release.  


‘Pain & Gain’ to strong-arm rivals at the box office

‘Pain & Gain’ a painful reminder for real-life gang victim

Mark Wahlberg’s supplements line, ‘Pain & Gain’ promote each other


INTERACTIVE: TVs highest paid stars

ON LOCATION: People and places behind what’s onscreen

PHOTOS: Hollywood back lot moments


Get our daily Envelope newsletter

The Awards and Industry Insider brings you exclusive awards season coverage, the business of show business and more.

You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.