Mr. Bay said that “Pain & Gain” had gotten him excited in the right way, connecting him to the energy and the pastel-colored palette of Miami Beach, where he has lived in recent years, and allowing him to get “down to the down and dirty.”Mr. Johnson, who plays an inept and drug-addled ex-con in the film, said, “There was a point where I was reticent about playing the role, because of the dark turns it was taking, and trying to find my clarity.” But when he wavered, he said, Mr. Bay surprised him by writing him a long letter that restored his confidence in the project. “The overall message was: ‘You were born to play this part. And now, I need you to trust me,’ ” Mr. Johnson said. “I was so blown away at the time.”
On the first “Transformers,” Mr. Bay said, he was chided by Steven Spielberg for allowing actors to improvise too much. “Steven said to me, ‘Michael, I would like you to shoot something that’s in the script,’ ” he recalled. “And I was like, ‘Steven, this is how I work.’ ” Even if 80 percent of what he shot was terrible, Mr. Bay said, “You’re going to get 20 percent that’s gold.” Since then, Mr. Bay said, Mr. Spielberg has come to see things his way. “Steven’s like: ‘You’ve got to have the funny. That’s part of the brand of ‘Transformers.’ ” (A spokesman for Mr. Spielberg confirmed Mr. Bay’s account of events.)
“It’s fucking incredible. Excuse my language but I can’t think of a better way to describe it. Probably the best movie I’ve seen in the last ten years and it might be the best assembled cast ever. The Rock, wow, Mr. Johnson deserves an Oscar. Sorry if this sounds incoherent but I’m just too excited. God I love this movie.” – Nick Mundy, Break.com
Michael Bay on the set of ‘Pain & Gain’ from Paramount Pictures.