‘I was so scared’ James Bond star Sean Connery terrified Michael Bay on The Rock set

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Back in the mid-1990s, upcoming and coming action director Michael Bay was just 30-years-old and suddenly found himself directing the original James Bond. Sean Connery was cast in his action thriller The Rock opposite Nicolas Cage, which saw a rescue mission to free hostages held captive under ransom on Alcatraz. Now in a new interview, the filmmaker has admitted he was petrified to give the 007 star direction on set.

Bay shared: “Okay, let me explain the very first day working with Sean Connery. I’m still a kid. Sean’s done 75 movies. I’ve done, this was my second. We’re doing the interrogation scene, with his long grey hair and the beard. I was so scared to give him his first direction. So we do one take. All right, let’s do it again. Do a second take. I’m like, oh my God, I got to give him some direction right now. ‘Um, Sean, can you just say that less charming?’

Speaking with Collider, Bay continued: “[Connery] goes, ‘Sure boy. Sure boy.’ So my name on the set was Boy. And he’s a director eater. He hates directors. For some reason, I remember I was down on my knees. Effects were not that good during The Rock at that time. I wanted to be a magician. I really didn’t make that much money. I knew I would never beat David Copperfield, but I did magic for birthdays when I was a kid. Okay. But I had a big quarter, a large-sized quarter. And I put a wire in it, a steel bar and I would spin it towards a camera. So it looks like, there’s a scene where he takes a quarter, it flips on the table, and that’s the thing that he gets out of his handcuffs. He kind of hits his chair and he dents it, and he gets out of his handcuffs. So I was spinning this quarter, I’m down there, I’m doing it myself. Sean Connery’s looking at me and he’s got this wry smile.”

Despite how foreboding Bay could find Connery, he added: “He was a tough love guy, but he liked me. I learned so much from that guy. And he really, really taught me a lot. He was a true, true movie star, and a consummate worker, and just his work ethic. I was very sad when he passed away. So I put The Rock line in this movie [new movie Ambulance] because of that.”

Interestingly, in a new interview, co-star Cage has shared the career-changing advice that the Bond star gave him that kept him going after Disney dropped him from blockbusters.

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The original Bond, who died on Halloween 2020, would tell Cage: “You have to know how to enter the room. When you’ve entered the room, they notice.”

On his recent critical success with Pig after a load of straight to home release films, The Rock star said: “In that movie, I thought I had entered the room.” 



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