Bay: It’s however you feel, you know? Whatever feels right for the scene. You rehearse it, you talk about it, and then … when I do action stuff, I have an idea and my crew knows, they roll with me, you know what I’m sayin? If you were here yesterday afternoon and it was bedlam. We had beautiful light, gorgeous light, a train exploded, cars flipped over, boom! It was really a magical moment, just the light was beautiful. Once you get in the zone, you’re in the zone, you know what I’m sayin'? (Laughs.)
When you’re in the zone on production here, what do you do to zen out? Do you have any time to relax?
Bay: I took a nap. [laughs] Take a nap. I learned that from Ridley Scott; take a nap. Steven Spielberg; take a nap. Just go to the trailer and take a nap.
It’s been a few years since the last "Transformers." Were there any sequences you wanted to do for this one that you felt that you couldn’t before? But now that the technology is there…
Bay: Yeah, I think there are.
Are there any that you’re looking forward to?
Bay: Yeah. Yeah. [laughs]
What is the location of Hong Kong allow you that doing stuff in the U.S. didn’t?
Bay: You know, I just think it’s a cool looking city. It’s such a mixture of amazing buildings next to an apartment tenement, you know? I saw this apartment, I walked in and it was just like a courtyard and I saw more air conditioners and stuff, and I came up with this whole action sequence right there. Like, “Oh, let’s parkour down,” in this great crazy chase where you can literally jump and grab on stuff and hang on stuff and make your way down. So, they don’t really have that here, but I just think it’s a different look.
How much guidance do you like to give your actors, and do you prefer to just find the right people like Mark Wahlberg and let him loose in certain circumstances?
Bay: I just think, you know, you’re a father who’s struggling and trying to protect his daughter, and there’s a lot of obvious stuff there. We just talk about it as we’re writing it, we talk about it, tweak things, you know. We wrote the idea down, and then once we knew who was in it, we kinda tailored it.
What is it about him, and how quickly did you discover that you wanted to bring him into this after "Pain & Gain"?
Bay: Well, I mean, I would have taken Dwayne, too. Honestly, when I went to see their availabilities, and I asked what was Dwayne’s availability, Dwayne wasn’t available. So what is it about Mark?
Bay: He’s a [expletive] asshole. (Laughs.) He’s gonna read that and think, “Is that what he thinks about me?” (Laughs.) He’s a great guy. He’s so prepared. He’s so easy-going. He just gets my vibe. He’s so open to direction with zero attitude. He knows his script so well, he knows where he is, his character. He reads the script cover to cover, that’s part of his process, which I find fascinating. He knows everyone’s lines, and he knows exactly where he is, I never have to explain where he is as a character. He a very prepared guy.
What’s a day in the life of Michael Bay? Can you walk us through it?
Bay: I dunno, we’ve got a lot of stuff going on. We’ve got three TV shows, "Ninja Turtles," another small movie, "Almanac". And we released "The Purge." It’s divided up in my company by different people handling different things, you know? So, I could go to "Black Sails," but I was watching dailies and art direction pictures and things like that, so there’s a guy there I communicate with.
Are you going to do another small movie after this?
Bay: Maybe. I had a fun time doing that.
Do you know what it might be?
Bay: The only non-fun thing was that I tried to save money and bring in some people that were inexperienced … that’s a bad idea. [laughs] Never doing that again. You know what I’m saying? Try to give people breaks and …
Any idea of what you might want to do?
Bay: I don’t know. I don’t know. There’s an African elephant thing that keeps … I always wanted to do one of those stories.
"Transformers: Age of Extinction" opens nationwide on June 27.