The first lady of Transformers – Megan Fox – talks about the most anticipated sequel of the summer: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Megan Fox entered the world of acting as a tween opposite Ashley Olsen in 2001 but my, how the lady has grown. It didn’t take long for her to shake off her childish image, she carved out a name for herself in the 2007 smash hit ‘Transformers’, which she followed up with grown-up roles in the controversially titled ‘Whore’ and Simon Pegg’s non-pc comedy ‘How To Lose Friends & Alienate People’. The rising actress is this year making ‘Jennifers Body’ with the makers of ‘Juno’ and is now back on our screens this summer in ‘Transformers : Revenge of the Fallen’.
Q: What’s it like coming back to the franchise that made you a house-hold name?
A:. I was excited to come back because when you leave this set which is so massive and chaotic at all times and then you go to a ‘normal’ set, of a film that has a smaller budget, it is very calm and slow and it will take you three days to shoot one scene; whereas here we shoot half a movie in a day. So it is interesting, it’s fun. It is a whole different mind-set.
Q: How has your character evolved this time round?
A: Its two years later in the relationship between Sam and Mikaela, so you sort of miss the build of the romance, it’s gone. It has happened off screen already. So you cut to them having been in the relationship for a couple of years. They are not bored but they bicker and fight with each other. Like old married people.
Q: What has been the most demanding action scene to do, so far?
A: We were shooting in New Mexico at the White Sands, which are these giant dunes, and Shia and I would have to run up the dune and then slide and run back down it and then run all the way across town. It was filmed on a huge crane. And we did that four times in a row. My back was hurting, I am pretty sure that one of my lungs was collapsing; I thought I was not going to survive it. You have to be in good shape.
Q: The first movie was a big surprise and a big hit. Did you expect to be here so soon for the sequel?
A: Well once we saw how much money it made, we figured that we would be back. Plus the characters are so young – nobody wants to see Sam and Mikaela when they are 30 – so we had to get it done now.
Q: How exciting is it at this stage of your career as you see yourself improving with each role and more interesting scripts are coming to you?
A: It is a huge blessing to have been a part of this. I was green when I did it. It was my first real movie. I had no idea what I was doing. I was scared in every scene. When they put the camera on me I just wanted to become a part of the scenery. I was so scared I did not want to open my mouth or talk at all. But you are right, with every role and the more you work on film sets, you do just naturally grow as an actor. What keeps you from being good and truthful on screen is when you are afraid. So the more you work the less fear you have, and the more honest you can be on camera. So finding that out is interesting.
Q: What happens if you have to interact with dialogue from a Transformer?
A: Sometimes if it is a huge dialogue scene they will hire voice actors who are off-camera. It is hard to not look at them when they are talking to you and to look at the pole [which represents the robot]. But often it is the assistant director who will do the voices. There is a new character with a really high, gargoyle like voice and he had to do a whole scene with me when he was screaming. We have B-roll of that.
Q: How tough is it making these movies when Michael Bay famously shoots them so quickly?
A: The most difficult part, aside from just the cardio-vascular stress, is that you show up on set thinking that you are shooting a running scene and actually you are shooting an emotional scene – someone is getting their arm ripped off or something crazy is happening. And there is no rehearsal, you are told you are going to say this and then run over there and then its roll and action. That’s difficult. For one, you have to have an exceptional memory and nerves of steel or else you will be a puddle.
Q: How did the success of Transformers change your life?
A: It happened gradually. You don’t wake up and your life is different. It happens week-by-week, month-by-month. But it changes because now neither one of us can say something without it being a top story on Yahoo News. So we can’t joke around as much and we can’t be silly. We have to take into consideration that there are kids paying attention. People want you to be some sort of role model and it is an immense amount of responsibility that is pushed on two people who maybe were not ready for that responsibility or were not looking for it.
Q: Does being a big screen action girl mean that there are problems with make-up when it runs in high temperatures?
A: Mike doesn’t really like having hair and make-up on set and I don’t like sitting in the make-up chair for more than an hour, so they get it done very fast. If it runs, it runs and it’s gone. So they light you really well and you go about your day in this movie.
Q: Sand and hair don’t go?
A: You’re wrong! When I was in New Mexico and they would style my hair and we had helicopters so we were getting beaten by a sandstorm and that made it [hair] look really sexy. So sand is good for your hair. It looks great.
Q: It is said you had to put on weight for the Transformers movies?
A: I lost weight for a movie I did. It was called Jennifer’s Body and I play a zombie. She is a teenage girl who turns into a zombie – so she goes through phases where she is extremely thin. I lost like 15 pounds. I was too skinny, it was not healthy. But Michael doesn’t like the image of very thin girls; he likes healthy women, so I had to put weight back on. I didn’t mind because I have a healthy appetite. How did I put the weight on? There is this stuff called red velvet cake – it is red cake with cream cheese icing – it is amazing! I would eat that every night after my dinner at 10.30 pm. We only arrived here yesterday so I have not had an Egyptian feast yet, but I look forward to it.
Q: Have you visited the Pyramids?
A: We walked around them and I am going to go inside them today. They are amazing but there is graffiti on them now, which is so sad. It is outrageous that people are allowed to do that.
Q: Have you thought about how acting has opened the world to you?
A: I had never left the country before I made Transformers. I did not have a passport. I had to get one to do the tour for Transformers. We went everywhere and that part of this job is amazing. You see things that you would never have had the opportunity to see.
Q: Will you be pleased if the franchise continues with a third and fourth film?
A: Sure. I think we all need some rest but after we re-charge our batteries, yeah. They are fun movies to make.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is in Irish cinemas now!