After breaking into Hollywood as a teenage soap actress, Megan Fox quickly transitioned into the world of sitcoms, a move that could have led to a career as one-half of any number of rom-com pairings. Instead, she’s embraced the world of sci-fi action films, with her latest role as that of the iconic human friend of the world-famous heroes in a half-shell.
In the latest big screen incarnation of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” Fox brings to life a 2014-style April O’Neil, the intrepid reporter ally of Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael and Donatello — this time as much a key player in the Turtles’ origins as she is in their adventuring. Long a lover of genre entertainment, Fox revealed in a recent press conference that she was the one trying to convince the filmmaking team that she’d make the perfect April, and not the other way around. Fox also dived into the challenges of working with CG co-stars, which Turtle is her personal favorite and her thoughts on being cast in roles that play up her appearance.
On why working with the Turtles was one of her dreams come true:
I was attracted to this because I was a fan as a kid. I really wanted to do this, and I got the opportunity to go in and have a meeting. It was Valentine’s Day.Â I went in, and the three of us were in there for five hours at Paramount for my first meeting. Brian [Austin Greene, her husband] was texting me: ‘It’s Valentine’s Day — Where are you?!’ And then, I got home and sent everyone emails saying, “You know what? It’s okay if you don’t cast me. I understand. I just want you to know that I’m going to be in the audience regardless.” I really campaigned to get this because I was a fan. I was afraid, at the same time, because you don’t want to ruin something that you’ve loved and be a part of its downfall. I was terrified of letting people down, but I had to do it because it was iconic to me, as a kid. I just feel lucky to have gotten the opportunity.
On her personal history with TMNT:
I had an older sister that was really into the movies, so I got into it because of her. I also watched the cartoon. I’m not going to claim that I read the comics, because I didn’t, and I don’t want to get stoned for claiming that I did something that I didn’t do!
On one key wal in which she differs from her on-screen counterpart:
I didn’t have [pet] turtles because you have to keep them in cages, and I was always really against that, even when I was little.Â I had a black cat. She was a stray cat, and I named her Candy. I thought she was magic. I love cats and dogs. I’ve had ferrets, pigs, birds and all kinds of things. I’m an animal person.Â
On the stunt work involved in bringing April O’Neil to life:
We did initially start out doing some kickboxing and kickboxing training, and they would teach me on site. We had an incredible stunt team, so they would teach us as we went along. They were the best of the best. I was also pregnant, so I couldn’t do all of the stunts while I was filming. What I couldn’t do, we had an amazing stunt girl that would do the series stuff for me. But I did what I could — and that was a lot because I’m badass.
On how portraying a journalist on film has affected her view on the profession:
I’m not trying to tell you [reporters] that you’re becoming obsolete, but everyone with an iPhone is a journalist in their own way now, especially because we live in a tabloid culture. When you watch CNN and they’re giving you news based on Tweets that people are sending out, you realize that society is really changing.Â The collective public have a really big voice now that they didn’t previously have, and they’re influencing the trajectory of how we are socially with one another.Â It didn’t necessarily change my view of [journalists] so much. I realize that the job is much more tedious than maybe I realized previously. You’ve really gotta keep track of a lot of shit.
On how the rise of social media and the Internet has affected the way in which she deals with the media and public:
I clearly haven’t learned that lesson.Â I’m probably the worst person to ask.Â I like to be open and honest. I hate being disingenuous. It’s really uncomfortable for me. I don’t excel at doing that, but I’ve also learned that, because of what [journalists] do, so much of what I say gets sensationalized. You have to report on scandal because that’s what people are hungry to read about. So, even when I’m trying to be straightforward and honest and my comments are innocent, inevitably they get turned into something salacious. I don’t have a good gauge on how to edit, but my intention is a good one.Â [Journalists] should just all behave themselves and be nice when you report on things that I say.
On acting opposite CG co-stars rather than real, live actors:
When we were doing ‘Transformers,’ Shia [LaBeouf] and I were just screaming things at the sky.Â We had no references at all, at that point, because how can you when you’re dealing with 30-foot robots? But with this one, we had four actors that were really, in what I consider a stroke of genius, cast by Jonathan [Liebesman] because they were perfect for their roles and really embodied them.Â When you’re doing movies like this, you do the scene with the actors, and then you have to do a clean plate without the actors there, so that if they want to use that shot, they don’t have to paint them out before they paint the Turtles in.Â And inevitably, in every single one of those, I was always significantly worse when the actors weren’t with me.Â Because they were so good, they helped make me a lot better, so whenever you have the opportunity to work with real people, that’s always helpful.
Her view on Internet ‘trolls’ and online negativity towards her work:
Let me tell you something about those people.Â How much money did “Transformers 4” make? Those people can complain, but they all go to the theater and see those movies. They’re gonna love it — and if they don’t love it, they can fuck off.
On Michelangelo, her favorite Turtle:
During shooting, we played around with that. There was a Raphael/April connection, and then it turned into a Michelangelo thing. That’s totally up his alley. That’s who he is: Mikey’s always been girl crazy! That’s his personality. I’m happy that it turned out that way. Also, Noel [Fisher], the kid who plays him, is a really talented actor. He steals the movie. In my opinion, it’s Mikey’s movie.
On being cast in roles which play up her ‘sex appeal’:
First of all, I don’t mind doing that stuff. That’s been a part of being an actress in Hollywood since the beginning. I don’t feel ashamed or like I can’t be taken seriously while also wearing a tank top. And if you don’t take me seriously when I’m wearing a tank top, that’s your fucking problem, not mine.
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