Film & TV

Michael Bay on the Real Sun Gym Gang: "I Hope They Never See Pain & Gain"

Michael Bay reclines on a white lounge chair on a 14th-floor balcony at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on Brickell Key. To the east, a sheet of piercing rain swallows Key Biscayne, thunder cracks overhead, and a lightning bolt shoots above the choppy waves. The sudden monsoon provides the perfect backdrop for the 48-year-old blockbuster director to talk about Pain & Gain, his dark passion project.

Based on a three-part Miami New Times cover story of the same name, Bay's adaptation retells the true story of the Sun Gym Gang, an ambitious, sadistic group of bodybuilders who used torture, extortion, and murder to get rich during a gruesome criminal run between 1994 and '95. The tale has all the elements of an only-in-Dade caper: muscles, steroids, erectile dysfunction, exotic dancers, luxury cars, offshore bank accounts, ambivalent cops, copious narcotics, and dismembered bodies dumped in the Everglades. Carl Hiaasen and Dave Barry couldn't make this stuff up.

For Bay, who lives part-time in a $17 million Miami Beach mansion, the story afforded the perfect chance to break away from CGI-fueled action via his favorite star: the city of Miami.

Two weeks before the movie's national release (this Friday, April 26), Bay sat down with New Times for a Q&A interview.

See also:

- Pain & Gain: Mark Wahlberg and The Rock Are American Idiots Gone Bad

- Pain & Gain Premiere: Mark Wahlberg's Rhymes and Ed Harris' 'Roid Rage on the Red Carpet (VIDEO)

- Pain & Gain 's New Red-Band Trailer: Midgets, Macklemore, and Monk Getting Tased

- Pain & Gain: From New Times Story to Michael Bay Film

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Francisco Alvarado was born in Nicaragua and grew up in Miami, giving him unique insight into the Magic City and all its dark corners. An investigative reporter with a knack for uncovering corruption, Alvarado made his bones as a staff writer at Miami New Times and remains in dogged pursuit of the next juicy story.