Obama strokes Michael Bay's ego, so the director puts the prez in Transformers 2

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Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

Would you believe President Obama called Michael Bay, director of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, "a big-ass director"?

Neither would we, but the director insists it happened. And to return the favor, Bay put the new prez in his upcoming giant-robot movie.

OK, not exactly: He put references to the real-life president into the story, including images on a few background TV monitors. But the message is clear: If giant robots fight on Earth, Bay wants Obama in the Oval Office.

In a press conference Friday in Beverly Hills, Calif., Bay explained that he was inspired to put Obama in the movie instead of some fictional president because the two have met in passing. During an airport layover in Las Vegas, Bay ended up walking side by side with Obama, who was without bodyguards, let alone Secret Service protection, carrying his own bags. (This was before Obama won election last November.)

Bay introduced himself to Obama and complimented a recent speech. When Obama asked him what Bay has directed, the president-to-be recognized names such as The Rock, Armageddon and Transformers. "Oh, you're a big-ass director," Obama said, according to Bay.

Obama may not even know that he landed himself a role in Bay's latest film in news footage featured in the movie. When he finds out, the president may have concerns about the film's depiction of his foreign policy: The national security advisor in the film carries the president's orders to shut down the NEST program, in which Autobots cooperate with the military to round up rogue Decepticons around the world. Would the "Yes we can!" president really have a problem trusting the good robots to help us fight the bad robots?

Bay did not know whether Obama has seen the film, but suspects one of the film's producers might arrange a screening for the first family. "Steven [Spielberg] might show [Obama's] daughters the movie," Bay said.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen opens June 24.