Kate Beckinsale Explained Ben Affleck's Pearl Harbor Teeth
She was told to lose weight for her role, but got to keep her teeth.
Viewers knew that something was up with Ben Affleck's teeth in 2001's Pearl Harbor, but in the new issue of Women's Health, his co-star, Kate Beckinsale, explained that he wasn't the only person on set to get flack for their appearance. Beckinsale said that after she was cast, Michael Bay asked her to "work out." She'd encountered body-shaming before on set, but she said that Affleck had a story of his own that involved his teeth.
"It wasn't great, it didn't make me feel good, and in general, I think women are body-shamed 100 million percent more than men. But on this particular project, I wasn’t," she said in the interview. Affleck starred in 1998's Armageddon, also directed by Bay. The director admitted to having Affleck's teeth corrected on that film's DVD commentary, but the sentiment made Beckinsale reconsider just how far she'd go for a role. Her body was one thing, but teeth were a whole new level.
"Ben [Affleck], who’d already done a movie with the director, was like, 'This happened to me. They made me get new teeth,'" Beckinsale said. "And I was like, 'Cool, at least I get to hang on to my actual teeth.'"
Beckinsale spoke about her interaction with Bay during an appearance on The Graham Norton Show, too. She explained that she never thought she fit into the roles that he'd offered women. When she was cast in Pearl Harbor, she had just given birth to her daughter and, she said that she didn't really get why a nurse would even have to look a certain way.
"I don't think I fitted the type of actress Michael Bay, the director, had met before. I think he was baffled by me because my boobs weren't bigger than my head and I wasn't blonde," she said at the time. "I'd just had my daughter and had lost weight but was told that if I got the part I'd have to work out, and I just didn't understand why a 1940s nurse would do that."
Beckinsale continued, saying that Bay would bring up her appearance again and again. It's a mindset she's moved on from, she told Women's Health, but it still comes up.
"When he was asked about me, he'd say, 'Kate wasn't so attractive that she would alienate the female audience,'" she said during her time on Graham Norton. "He kept saying it everywhere we went and we went to a lot of places."