TEENAGE Mutant Ninja Turtles stars Megan Fox and Will Arnett take us behind the scenes of Hollywood’s next big blockbuster. Fox also reveals her thoughts on being beautiful, and why she’s not as open with the media as she once was.
Megan, your character in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is continually thwarted by her looks. Do you relate to that?
Megan: I don’t feel like being beautiful is a hindrance when you are an actress. I feel like it’s probably something that’s helpful. But in terms of being critically acclaimed, that has to come from me giving a worthy performance. That lies within myself — it’s not someone else’s fault.
What about her fearlessness?
Megan: I definitely relate to that. I feel like I am not afraid to say what needs to be said, or do what I need to do, if I believe in something. If I have a cause I will fight for it. I am fearless that way — sometimes, in the past, to a fault.
Will, your character thinks he is more of a catch than he is. If women have a tendency to over-estimate their flaws, perhaps men have a tendency to underplay theirs?
Will: That’s probably an instinctual thing. Men have to think like that because as animals we have to pursue and go out and hunt and mate and you need that confidence in order to do that.
Body image is now an issue for male actors, too.
Will: I do feel that pressure from time to time, but I spend a lot of time in more comedic endeavours and I have always maintained that there is nothing funny about a six pack.
So there are times when a sculpted body can actually be a disadvantage then.
Will: No matter what you do as a performer, you are judged by how you look. People think actors are overly so concerned about their image. But imagine if everybody was always commenting on how you look. We live in an age where people let you know, there’ll be some dingbat who is living in their mum’s basement tweeting about how “he looks terrible” or “he looks fat”.
We also live in an age where intimate photos can be stolen off the i-Cloud. Given the dangers, why would celebrities take nude photographs of themselves in the first place?
Will: It’s how we communicate now — in images. We all know what a selfie is. Three years ago it didn’t exist. It is a mirror — this is what I am doing right now, this is how I look at this moment. Do I send nude photos? No. But there is nothing wrong with it. And it’s terrible that people are having their privacy invaded like that.
Megan: I don’t keep anything like that on i-Cloud for that very purpose. That is my worst nightmare. I don’t think that it’s strange — especially within a relationship. But the only images I have are of being pregnant, of my belly growing. That’s about as undressed as it gets.
You found out you were pregnant after you started filming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Did that limit what you could do?
Megan: It did hold me back a little bit. I wanted to be able to do as much as possible — it always looks better if you can have your face in the stunt.
Will: You did a lot.
Megan: Towards the end, there wire stunts I couldn’t do.
Producer Michael Bay likes to keep his action films as real as he can. TMNT isn’t as explosive as Transformers. But was there a certain level of physical discomfort on this one too?
Megan: Not for me, but I would say for the guys who played the turtles. They had to wear these big gothic platform shoes with these skin tight spandex suits and the camera on top of their heads.
Clearly you have overcome your differences (Fox was replaced in the third Transformers film after comparing Bay to Napoleon and Hitler.)
Megan: I think everything in the media plays out so much more dramatically than it is in real life. We have been talking behind the scenes for a while now. But sometimes when you have two strong personalities, you are going to have disagreements. And then at a certain juncture you decide: well, maybe we are not going to work together on this project, because we are clashing so badly. I don’t think that’s really such a crazy, bizarre thing in itself. It’s just that there aren’t a lot of actresses who have left billion dollar franchises so it’s very salacious.
Five years on, you seem to be less outspoken in interviews. Is that a result of the fallout?
Megan: Unfortunately for me I can’t make jokes. I can’t be the way, say, Will is in an interview, because everything I say is printed as literal. There seems to be this need to portray me either like I am crazy, or an uptight bitch. There is no room for me just to relax and be myself and joke around because it’s always taken out of context.
So because he is known as a comedian, Will can get away with a lot more?
Will: People assume I am having a laugh. What I say is taken more lightly. Maybe I am hiding behind that — if you want to get all deep — but I think that’s true.