Kate Beckinsale Says She Was Ordered to 'Work Out' If She Wanted a Part in 'Pearl Harbor'

by Hillary Bautch 11:40 AM PDT, May 28, 2016
Photo: Getty Images

Kate Beckinsale had a memorable role in Pearl Harbor, and now she's revealing the surprising thing she had to do to score the part.

While appearing on The Graham Norton Show on Friday to promote her new film Love and Friendship, the 42-year-old actress claimed she was told to "work out" for her role in the 2001 film.

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"I don't think I fitted the type of actress Michael Bay, the director, had met before," Beckinsale said. "I think he was baffled by me because my boobs weren't bigger than my head and I wasn't blonde."

"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," she added.

Pearl Harbor, which also starred Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett, was only Beckinsale's second part in a major Hollywood film following 1999’s Brokedown Palace.

"When we were promoting the film, Michael was asked why he had chosen Ben and Josh. He said, 'I have worked with Ben before and I love him, and Josh is so manly and a wonderful actor,'" the mom-of-one explained. "And then when he was asked about me, he'd say, 'Kate wasn't so attractive that she would alienate the female audience.' He kept saying it everywhere we went and we went to a lot of places."

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Thankfully, the entire interview wasn't a downer. Beckinsale is known for being quite a prankster and retold the story of one of her best gags while on the British talk show.

"If somebody falls asleep next to me, it's dangerous, because I like to glue beards to them or draw tattoos or whatever it is… and I'd run out of things like that, and yet I was still after the rush of doing it," she explained. "I got into bed and I got one of those chocolates that you get by the bed, and I thought, 'How funny would it be if I just tucked it in-between the person's buttocks while they were asleep?' And it was really funny!"

Beckinsale admitted that she thought she might get in trouble into the morning, but the person she pulled the prank on was in rush and didn't notice the chocolate until halfway through their work day, when the victim was promptly horrified because they thought they had popped in their pants "without even feeling it." And it turns out, she didn’t feel bad about the prank at all. "No, I was absolutely thrilled!" she said.

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Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke and Matt LeBlanc were sitting next to Beckinsale as she retold the story, and their and Graham’s reactions may be more hilarious than the tale itself. Check it out in the video below.

Beckinsale isn't the only fun-loving prankster in Hollywood! Jennifer Lawrence recently tried to pull one over on her X-Men co-stars. Find out what she did in the video below.