06/20/2011 at 06:40 PM EDT
In the run-up to shooting Transformers: Dark of the Moon
, Megan Fox
told a British magazine that director Michael Bay "wants to be like Hitler on his sets" and that he's "a nightmare to work for."
A few months later, she got her walking papers. But it wasn't Bay who made the call, the director says.
"She was in a different world, on her BlackBerry. You gotta stay focused," Bay tells the July issue of GQ
, on newsstands Tuesday. "And you know, the Hitler thing. Steven said, 'Fire her right now.' "
He was referring to Steven Spielberg, one of the executive producers. Fellow Transformers
star Shia LaBeouf
says he agrees Fox went too far.
"Criticism is one thing," he told the magazine. "Then there's public name-calling,
which turns into high school bashing. Which you can't do. She started s----talking our captain."
Bay, however, says he was able to put the actress's comments into perspective.
"I wasn’t hurt, because I know that’s just Megan," he says. "Megan loves to get a response. And she does it in the wrong way. I’m sorry, Megan. I’m sorry I made you work 12 hours. I’m sorry that I’m making you show up on time. Movies are not always warm and fuzzy."
For her part Fox, 25, who declined to comment for the story, said last year that she chose to bow out
"It was her decision not to return. She wishes the franchise the best," her reps told PEOPLE last year.
Regardless of their disagreements, Bay says the pair ended on decent terms.
"She sent me a text three months ago. She said, 'I hope you're doing well,'" he recounts. "I responded, 'Who is this?' She goes, 'Megan, you dork!' I said, 'Oh, well, thank you, hope you're well.' When you're days and months on a set, it's like a family. You say rude things and you make