She may only have been seen in three films so far but already Megan Fox has established herself as a new breed of sex symbol for the 21st century.
Recently named “The Sexiest Woman in the World” by a leading men’s magazine, 23-year-old Fox, star of the Transformers blockbusters, is the hottest young actress to hit Hollywood since Angelina Jolie.
“Mega” Fox, as her young male fans call her, is also a publicist’s nightmare – and a journalist’s dream.
Earlier this year, her comments to a magazine journalist that Michael Bay, who directed her in the two Transformers movies, is “like Hitler” on his sets prompted an angry response from three crew members who called her “dumb as a rock”, before going on to dismiss her as “thankless, classless, graceless [and] unfriendly”.
Fox shrugs off the criticism, when I meet her in Toronto – where her new movie, the demonic-possession horror-comedy Jennifer’s Body is getting its world premiere. “I’ve definitely said some things that I shouldn’t say,” she admits. “I sometimes forget how things will translate once they are in print. But this is a bull—- industry and I made a decision not to be a bull—- person. I need to hold onto my soul and my integrity and I can’t compromise that.
Jennifer’s Body, written by Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody, provides Fox with her first starring role. In it, she plays the title character, a demon cheerleader who swims nude, sets fire to her tongue, then turns into a snarling beast who devours her high-school classmates. But, as we might expect in a story from an Oscar-nominated writer, amid the gore are some fine jokes and playful pop-culture references.“It was a difficult movie to make because I was under a lot of pressure to do Diablo’s script justice,”says Fox, “so I was nervous about that. I was always questioning myself and trying to bring some real elements to Jennifer. I wanted people to feel empathy for her; I wanted her to be a real person, and not a caricature, like some of the characters I may have played in the past.”
Asked what she makes of the “Sexiest Woman in the World” label, Fox laughs. “I don’t take any notice of those polls. I take it with a grain of salt. I think that because I was in a movie [Transformers] that made $800 million, they threw me on the top of the list.” But what about her remark to Esquire that “I’m just really confident sexually and I think that sort of oozes out of my pores?”
She sighs. “Sometimes I say things that I think are obviously sarcastic and people take them quite literally. In America we’re still very uptight about sexuality: it’s considered scandalous for women to be sexual or speak about sex in a humorous way,” she says. “For some reason it makes people very uncomfortable, possibly because our society is still very tied to archaic biblical principles that we try to force on each other and force on our children. It’s very unfortunate because men are embraced for their sexual prowess and women discouraged from it.
“In Europe, women are celebrated for their sexuality and appreciated for it. There you can still be both sexy and intelligent. Go figure.”
While another actress might bemoan the fact that being named the sexiest woman alive would hinder her goal of becoming “A Serious Actress”, Fox says: “I didn’t decide I’m going to be an actress because I want to be respected for how I play chess. I don’t think men approach me for intellectual conversation. I’m definitely labelled in the pin-up category and I haven’t given people a reason to take my work seriously yet.”
She emphasises that despite her reputation as a sex symbol, she has never been photographed topless and never will be. “When you become a celebrity, the world owns you and your image. The only thing that is still private and still mine is my actual physical body. It’s literally all I have left that is my own.”
In the past, Fox has been outspoken about being bisexual and having had an affair with a stripper while in her teens. But, for the past five years, she has been in a monogamous relationship with actor Brian Austin Green, who is 13 years her senior.
When discussing Green, Fox suddenly, unexpectedly, begins to cry; then she dabs her eyes with a tissue, smiles and apologises. “Man, I just get emotional,” she says. You don’t come across a lot of genuine people in this industry and I feel blessed to have someone who will stick around through my bull—-”
Born in Tennessee and brought up in Port St Lucie, Florida, Fox was a successful model before landing a regular stint in the television series Hope and Faith in 2006. She made her feature film debut in Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen but it was her role in the 2007 summer blockbuster Transformers that shot her to stardom. She has also appeared in How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, and Jonah Hex, a supernatural western based on a comic book, which is still awaiting release.
Fox insists she has no set goals as an actress but seems serious about her desire to encourage women to embrace and enjoy their sexuality.
“I just really want it at some point to be OK for women and young girls to be sexy because I think that’s a power, a gift that we were given by God or the universe or whatever,” she says. “I think I’m a different kind of role model for young girls.” She thinks for a minute and adds with a smile: “But maybe not the kind America is comfortable with.”
Jennifer’s Body is out in November.
Source: Telegraph UK