Michael Bay on the Real Sun Gym Gang: "I Hope They Never See Pain & Gain"
Did you shoot any videos or commercials in Miami before you made Bad Boys?
No. It was my first time down here. I just love the texture of the city. City is great about not ripping things down. In Los Angeles, they'd rip down an Art Deco building. Miami is great how they preserve a lot of stuff down here. There is a really neat light down here. There are great skies. There is something vibrant about the city.
What made you want to have a home here?
People enjoy life down here. Los Angeles has no soul. It's too big. I feel it is a small town in a weird way. I know a lot of people here. It is weird because it has an international but small town feel.
What do you do when you are in Miami?
I hang out my house, the great restaurants. I go to the beach. I work out. One of my buddies owns LIV. Another one owns Mynt. I just like to hang out. My life is so fucking busy. Sometimes hanging out is all you need.
Are there any other wild and crazy tales about the Magic City that you're planning on bringing to the big screen?
I don't know. I have to do Transformers 4. I am just glad I got to make this one. This is a different, cool movie. The actors did a great job. It is a conflicted movie. You're watching it and oh my God, this is a bad guy, but I kind of like the guy. You talk to people who knew these guys [the Sun Gym Gang] and they were like, "That guy was nice" or, "That guy was charming" or, "That guy was good to the community."
Who did you talk to in order to get a sense of who Sun Gym Gang members Daniel Lugo and Adrian Doorbal were?
From Ed DuBois and Pete Collins, who was very detailed about it. I knew a couple of people in Bad Boys 2 who were involved in the case. Some of our extras literally worked out at Sun Gym and knew those guys. I never felt the need to meet these guys on death row. I didn't want to give them credibility. I hope they never see it.
Is Dwayne Johnson's Paul Doyle a composite character?
He is a composite of two people. A movie when you have too many characters, you do things like that. I hear one of those guys is trying to apologize to the victims. He was just recently out of prison.
The Rock is great in the movie.
He was scared to do the role a week before we started shooting. The character was way out there for him. He's like, "I want Mark's role." I said, "You feel more comfortable in Mark's role, but you're going to be great in this other role. You're my secret weapon."
You shot the Wynwood Building in the movie and for a Victoria Secret's commercial. What is it about that building?
I like the building. But the client wanted to change the whole concept, so we went to places we knew and shot around Wynwood. I heard the location where we shot the gym was an old Rat Pack hotel. It is a pretty crazy place to put a hotel. You'd think it would be on the beach.
What is going on with your HBO series Cocaine Cowboys?
Part of the problem when someone runs a studio at HBO and they get fired, the new group doesn't want to take the old group's stuff. So it just sits there and languishes. So Jerry Bruckheimer is trying to set it up somewhere else. That is an interesting tale too. There is some fun character stuff in that one. What's her name, Griselda Blanco, called up Bruckheimer's office and asked him, "Would you like to meet me?" They were like, "No way." I don't think anyone could find where she was. She was in hiding. She finally got killed. She is a crazy, interesting character.
What does Pain & Gain say about the pursuit of the American dream in Miami?
Well, in this particular movie dealing with trainers and body builders there is that sheen on looks and presentation, but it is not really earned. There is a lot of superficial stuff. I liked the idea about the world of body builders where they think, "God, if my triceps were a little more ripped, I'd be a happier person." People aren't happy with what they got. They want a little bit more and a little bit more. For Lugo, it was all about perception. His biggest fear was being called an amateur.
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