Why Megan Fox is not a fan of social media but obsessed with 'ancient aliens'
Megan Fox. The name sends shivers down the spines of boys and men. Simply by writing her name, I can double the internet traffic for this article. I could double it again by writing ‘Megan Fox is crazy’ but it would be unfair. She’s definitely weird – a word she applies to herself. That can be a good or a bad thing in the new world of social media, which she tries to ignore. We’ll get to that.
Fox turned 30 on May 16. We spoke just before her birthday, as she was publicising her latest movie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. It’s her second go-round with TMNT, a franchise as odd as she is. So there are these four human-like turtle brothers who have been raised in the sewers and they fight crime, sort of like Batman meets The Four Musketeers? Yep, that’s the concept.
The first series of films started when she was four years old, still growing up in Tennessee – about the time her very religious parents got a divorce. Fox stars in the Michael Bay rebooted series – which is itself strange, because in 2009, she compared him to working with Hitler.
It’s true that Michael Bay made her a celebrity with the first and second Transformer movies, in 2007-2008. Her outburst cost her a role in the third movie. She says she and Bay have now made up.
‘He loves me so much,’ she says. And then she repeats the words, individually, for emphasis, like this: ‘He. Loves. Me.’
It goes on. ‘I am one of his favourite people. I was at his Christmas party, we were taking selfies. We like each other. I have a good relationship with Michael.’
I remind her that it was not always that way. ‘Sure. People change. Things grow. The universe.’
The first TMNT reboot was violent for a kids’ movie. The new one is ‘more family friendly and more kid friendly… There is a lot of action, big set pieces, but it’s not violent and that is the difference.’
Casting one of the greatest sex symbols of the era in a special effects-driven movie for kids may be a departure but it followed the birth of her first child, a boy, in 2012. Fox is married to actor Brian Austin Green. Their breakups and reunions are all documented on the internet, but she is expecting their third child this northern summer. She has packed a lot into 30 years – modelling in Florida at 13; moving to Hollywood at 15 with her mother, who returned to Florida when Fox turned 18 and could support herself; a dozen or so movies, some of which were huge. She now has the kind of fame where she can expect people to go through her garbage. Does turning 30 make her reflect on her career and direction?
‘In terms of packing a lot into 30 years, I will soon have three kids, which is pretty crazy. Back to back to back. But my career trajectory? How do I feel about it, what do I think? I don’t know… I prefer making comedies or these action movies because I have a lot of fun… It’s not that I don’t enjoy acting or making movies. I have been really lucky in the movies I have made, but there are other things that I love and I am interested in that I want to explore. I guess 30 years old is a year of awakening for a lot of people so I am learning who I am and finding myself and starting to branch off in new and different directions.’
What directions, I wonder?
‘I am actually a much more academic person than anyone would anticipate and I have a lot of interest in things like, aside from theology and philosophy, I am really interested in archaeology and things of that nature. I have put a lot of time into learning and studying about these things. I am trying to find ways to incorporate that into the platform I have been given as an actor. I think that is as specific as I can get right now.’
Fox’s history with religion is, in her own word, extreme. Before her parents divorced in Tennessee she attended a conservative Pentecostal church – the kind where they handled snakes and spoke in tongues. In Florida she attended Catholic high schools, but she retains a little of that old-time religion. She has said she sometimes still speaks in tongues. I went looking for information about her interest in archaeology. Turns out it is very Scully and Mulder. She explains in an interview on You Tube that she’s obsessed with ‘ancient aliens’.
‘I would love to shadow someone and go on digs. I think it holds the answers,’ she told interviewer Scott Feinberg. ‘I wanna go and really see the real stuff that they are not willing to show the rest of the world; ‘cos they hide all the real stuff, they don’t show us, because humanity would panic.’
It’s hard to tell when Fox is playing with interviewers. She has admitted that she does this, partly for fun. In part, it reflects her disenchantment with the media, both traditional and social.
‘I think I was lucky to have a very strong sense of self (at 18)… I think you have to somehow develop the ability to not be in need of validation from other people’s opinions, because you will never get that. From anywhere, but especially not in this industry, because reviews and opinions are too mixed and you are too exposed. Everyone has a voice now because of the internet and social media. Even on CNN… random people’s tweets are part of the news stories. The way you are bombarded with random people’s opinions is very difficult. You have to be able to become unattached, not detached, but unattached to what that could possibly do to your sense of self. You have to just be centred and maintain a clear bird’s-eye-view of who you are and why you’re here.’