You recently said some fairly harsh things about your former director Michael Bay [Armageddon, 1998] in an AICN talkback forum.
Yeah, I heard that too. It was taken out of context. I was getting pushed to say something sensational. Michael Bay’s a good guy. We get along great. People get along in one way when they’re working, and they get along in an entirely different way when they’re out and about.
So your experience working with him in Armaggeddon wasn’t really that bad?
You know what? When I’m doing press, I say things sometimes that wind people up. Just to . . .
Do you get a kick out of reading it later?
I don’t read it. I don’t pay much attention to it. But Michael knows where he and I stand.
And that is?
And that is where he and I stand — it’s not even worth talking about.
What do you think of Hollywood? Isn’t it becoming a parody of itself?
It is. And it just keeps going, and people keep talking about it. What is news today is very surprising to me. When I do take the time to turn on the TV to see what’s going on, see what’s on the gossip shows, see what’s on the news, I’m like, “This is news?” Like, whatever is going on with Paris Hilton. Are you following that? It’s like the circus, right? They gotta make news out of something. And until something else goes along, they’ll knock the whole fascination with what’s going on with Paris Hilton in jail. It’s a novelty, don’t you think?
Sure. It’s just another form of entertainment.
Everything is to entertain people and to give people things to talk about. So when people go to work the next day, they can say, “Did you see what happened to Paris Hilton? Jeez, she doesn’t have a pillow in her jail cot!” You get to talk about that.
Do you think that, these days, people in Hollywood might have more influence in educating the general public about politics than, say, politicians themselves?
Wouldn’t that be a sad thing? I think you’re right. I think that . . . it depends when you ask me, but I get asked about things and my opinions on things and I try to . . . I just read an interview I did for Playboy a few months ago, and I looked at the things I said, and I thought, “This is why I shouldn’t be doing interviews.” I talk about stuff that is just my point of view of the world and Hollywood and my experiences in the world and what I’ve seen, and I could just as easily keep my mouth shut and keep my opinions to myself. But it does make news.
If people want to use their celebrity as a way to get information out, I think that that’s a good thing. My life centers a lot on my daughters, on their response to the world. So that’s my focus, as opposed to getting out there and stumping about what I care about. I don’t know if you can make a difference. It’s difficult to change things just by talking about it. You gotta do it, is my point of view. Do it or talk about it. One seems to work and one seems to not be so successful.