Hollywood is in mourning following the death of Sir Sean Connery, with many from the industry, as well as legions of fans, emerging to pay tribute to the beloved James Bond star. Aside from the likes of the 007 franchise and Indiana Jones, one of Connery’s most iconic roles is that of SAS Captain John Patrick Mason in director Michael Bay’s superb action thriller, The Rock, with Bay having now penned a special tribute in his honor.
“He was a legend. We all have a few teachers in our careers. The ones that imprint something special on your being. Teachers that you haven’t seen in 20 years, but you still remember their wisdom like yesterday. Sean Connery was one of those for me.”
Sean Connery clearly meant a lot to Bay, with the well-known director having worked with the actor very early in on in his big screen career.
“I was young-dumb, doing my second movie, The Rock. I had heard he was notoriously tough on directors. I was terrified when I gave him my first direction: ‘Uh, Sean can you please do that less charming.’ He said, ‘Sure, boy!’ ‘Boy’ was the nickname he gave me.”
Michael Bay added that Connery was “notoriously thrifty and practical” and that he taught him “so much about acting and the craft,” before sharing a funny story from behind-the-scenes of The Rock.
“Car chase: Sean driving and I’m alone filming him. He slams the brakes; my head hits the window. He says, ‘You OK?’ I say, ‘No, the Disney folks are here to kick my butt for being two days over schedule.’ Sean, with that sly look, says, ‘You want me to help?’ Cut to: Having lunch with the Disney execs in a third-grade classroom, sitting at tiny tables and chairs. We looked like giants. I announce that Mr. Connery would like to visit and say hi. Sean comes in, sits down across from the open-mouthed executives.”
He continued, “In classic Sean Connery style, he belts out in his Scottish brogue: ‘This boy is doing a good job, and you’re living in your Disney F*cking Ivory Tower and we need more fucking money!!’ Without missing a beat, they responded. ‘OK. How much?’ He did it because he loved movies. He loved excellence and doing the best he could. His work ethic was bar none, the best I’ve ever experienced.”
Released in 1996, The Rock begins with a disenchanted Brigadier General named Frank Hummel and a group of rogue US Force Recon Marines seizing Alcatraz Island and holding all the tourists on hostage before threatening to launch nerve gas filled rockets upon San Francisco. Connery stars as Mason, a 60-year-old Scottish national imprisoned without charges for two decades and the only Alcatraz inmate ever to escape the island. Alongside Nicolas Cage as FBI Special Agent Dr. Stanley Goodspeed, the mismatched duo must work together to defeat the terrorists and stop the general.
While The Rock was met with a mixed response from critics, appreciation for the movie has grown considerably over the years, with a wonderful fan theory since suggesting that The Rock features an aged version of Connery’s James Bond.
Connery sadly passed away in his sleep on October 31st at age 90. This comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.