While Sean Connery might be remembered best as James Bond, he was a prolific actor with an extensive list of credits. One of his lesser-known roles is that of John Mason in Michael Bay’s second feature film, The Rock. Following Connery's passing over the weekend, Bay wrote a brief tribute piece for The Hollywood Reporter highlighting his experience working with the accomplished Hollywood giant.

“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,” Bay wrote. “Sean Connery was one of those for me.” He also shared how nervous he was to work with Connery due to his status, but that Connery’s “amazing James Bond smile” put him at ease. Throughout the production, Connery called Bay by the affectionate nickname of “boy.”

Bay recalled a specific memory from the set of The Rock. While they were filming a scene by themselves, Bay revealed to Connery that he would have to meet with Disney executives about the movie being behind schedule. Connery offered to help Bay out by attending the meeting. Using his influence, Connery convinced the executives to provide Bay with the funds he needed to complete the film.

But why would Connery go out on a limb to help a production in which he was merely playing a part on-screen? “He did it because he loved movies,” Bay explained. “He loved excellence and doing the best he could. His work ethic was bar none, the best I’ve ever experienced.”

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