The press day for Platinum Dunes’ reboot of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” brought out a lot of people who worked in front of and behind the camera on it. But when all is said and done, much of the attention at the movie’s press conference was focused on Megan Fox who stars as the fearless reporter April O’Neil. April ends up befriending the turtles and eventually discovers that she had a connection with them when she was just a child.
During the press conference Megan talked about the kind of training she did to prepare for the movie, how she had a childhood crush on Michelangelo, of the different between making “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” as opposed to the “Transformers” movies, and of her reaction to people who despise this movie even though they haven’t seen it yet. She also proved to have quite the feisty personality as she never held back the way she feels about certain things.
Megan, did you do any fight training for this movie?
Megan Fox: We did initially start out doing some kickboxing. We had an incredible stunt team so they would teach us as we went along, and they were the best of the best. I was pregnant also so I couldn’t do all of the stunts while I was filming, and what I couldn’t do we had an amazing stunt girl that would do the serious stuff for me. But I did what I could, and that was a lot (laughs).
Your character of April O'Neil is a journalist. How do you see the world of journalism right now?
Megan Fox: I’m not trying to tell you guys 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 there are giving you news based on tweets that our people are sending out, you realize that society is really changing and the collective public has a really big voice now that they didn’t previously have; they influence the trajectory of how we are socially with one another. I guess I’m getting really metaphysical with you guys, but the point is it didn’t necessarily change my view on you guys so much. I realize that your job is much more tedious then maybe I realized previously because you guys keep track of a lot of shit.
Your character of April is very fond of turtles even as a child. Did you have any pets as a little girl?
Megan Fox: I didn’t have turtles because you have to keep them in cages and I was always really against that even when I was little. Apparently Jonathan (Liebesman, the movie’s director) thinks that’s funny (laughs). I had a black cat, she was a stray cat, and I named her Candy and I thought she was magic. That was my favorite. I love cats, dogs; I’ve had ferrets, pigs, birds, all kinds. I’m an animal person.
How do you know how much to give away to the media and how much to keep to yourself?
Megan Fox: I clearly haven’t learned that lesson (laughs). I’m probably the worst person to ask. I like to be open with you guys and I like to be honest. I hate being disingenuous because that’s really uncomfortable for me; I don’t excel at doing that. But I’ve also learned that because of what you do, not you personally, that so much of what I say gets sensationalized and 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 sort of salacious. So I don’t have a good gauge on how to edit, but my intention towards you is a good one so you guys should all behave yourselves and be nice.
What does it mean to you to bring life back to the Ninja Turtles, and were you a fan of the franchise growing up?
Megan Fox: I was a big fan as a kid. I had an older sister who was really into the movies, and so I got into it because of her. I watched the cartoon also. I’m not going to claim that I read the comics because I didn’t, and I don’t want to get like stoned for claiming that I did something that I didn’t do.
You have acted opposite Transformers and ninja turtles. What’s it like acting opposite these non-traditional characters?
Megan Fox: When we were doing “Transformers,” Shia (LeBeouf) and I were just sort of screaming things at the sky. We had no references at all at that point because, how can you? You’re dealing with 30 foot robots. But in this one we had four actors that were really great and, in what I consider a stroke of genius, were cast by Jonathan because they were perfect for the roles. They really embodied them. They spent a lot of time together so they really interacted like brothers. We do things when we’re doing movies like this like we’ll do the scene with the actors, and then you have to do something called 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. And inevitably, in every single one of those, I was always significantly worse when the actors weren’t with me. Because they were so good, they helped make me a lot better. So we have the chance to work with real people and that’s always so helpful.
There are a lot of people out there who are already hating this movie before it’s even released. What do you think about these people who say that you are crushing their childhood with this movie?
Megan Fox: Let me tell you something about those people; how much money did “Transformers 4” make? Those people who complain, they all go to the theater to see the movie. They are going to love it, and if they don’t love it they can fuck off and that’s that (the audience laughed and applauded her).
We heard that you had a childhood crush on Michelangelo. What was it like to work with that character?
Megan Fox: During shooting we sort of played around with that where there was kind of a Raphael and April connection, and then it turned into Michelangelo… That’s totally up his alley. He’s always sort of been girl crazy. Mikey, that’s his personality. I’m happy that it turned out that way but 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.
Were you attracted to the role of April because she is a strong female character and that you didn’t have to show your mid-drift the way you did in those Transformers movies?
Megan Fox: First of all, I don’t mind doing that stuff. I think that’s been a part of being an actress in Hollywood since the beginning, and 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 then that’s your fucking problem and not mine (audience laughs). I was attracted to this because I was a fan as a kid and I really wanted to do this. I got the opportunity to go and have a meeting with them, and it was on Valentine’s Day. I went in and we were in there for five hours at Paramount at my first meeting, and Brian (Austin Green, her husband) was texting me like, “It’s Valentine’s Day, where are you?” And I got home and then I 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 loved and be a part of its downfall, so of course I was terrified of letting people down. But I had to do it because it was iconic to me as a kid, and I just feel lucky to have gotten the opportunity.