Search icon

Movies & TV

25th Mar 2022

WATCH: Michael Bay reveals the most difficult stunt he’s ever filmed

Rory Cashin

‘I’m yelling at them because they were crossing what we called The Line Of Death, because if they crossed it they could die!’

Bad Boys. The Rock. Armageddon. Pearl Harbor. Bad Boys II. The Island. Five of the Transformers movies. Pain & Gain. 13 Hours. 6 Underground.

And now Ambulance.

Michael Bay knows how to put together an epic action set piece, and is a huge fun of practical, in-camera effects to give his action a sense of reality.

Ahead of the release of his new movie, JOE chatted to the legendary director and asked him about his personal favourite action movies of all time, as well as which stunts of his stand out as the most difficult or the most memorable.

Check out our interview in full right here:

When talking about his most difficult stunts, Bay says there are two that immediately come to mind:

“The first one, I had to pay for it myself, is from Bad Boys. It’s when Martin Lawrence says ‘This is your boarding pass’. I get to this big hanger, and this line producer was a total ass to me. He was just mean, he didn’t have any faith in the movie, the studio didn’t have any faith in the movie.

“And this was my first movie, so it was do or die. So we had this huge rainstorm, and he said ‘We’re not going to do the explosion’, and I’m like ‘What??’, and I had this professional pyro crew from L.A., and he said we’re not gonna do it.

“I was literally gonna deck him. I said ‘This is where the audience claps!’, and I was literally gonna blow. It was five days away from the end of the movie and he was adamant that we’re not gonna shoot it.

“And I said ‘How much to pay for the crew to come here tomorrow morning to shoot it?’, because it will cost double time or whatever. He said $25,000, so I said ‘I’m writing a cheque you a cheque for $25,000’, and I literally wrote him the cheque and it said on it ‘To: Sony Pictures’ and that was a quarter of my fee.

“Then we did the shot with Martin shooting, and this dummy comes right to the camera out of the fire and it lands right near us and I say ‘That’s the money shot!'”

Check out our interviews with Ambulance stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II right here:

Bay continues for the other most memorable stunt in his opinion from his own career:

“It is definitely still the record holder for the largest explosion and most complicated explosion in film history was the Pearl Harbor one, with 350 events, 20 real planes low over the water, two boats with stuntmen in them, dynamite in the water.

“It took three months to rig, the bombs all had to go off in seven seconds. You’re shooting in between puffy clouds in Hawaii, so you have to make sure there’s not a puffy cloud blocking the sun!

“And you’ve got the planes circling, and there’s a behind-the-scenes

where I’m yelling at the boat because they were crossing what we called The Line Of Death, because if they crossed it, there is real dynamite in the water and they could die.

“So we are watching all of this going down and it is my decision when to roll! It was beautiful when it was done.”

Ambulance arrives in Irish cinemas on Friday, 25 March.

Check out our interview with another of the movie’s stars – Eiza Gonzalez – right here:

LISTEN: You Must Be Jokin’ with Aideen McQueen – Faith healers, Coolock craic and Gigging as Gaeilge