LOS ANGELES — In “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (opening Friday), Megan Fox plays April O’Neil, a beautiful New York TV reporter, relegated to the “soft” side of the news — frustrated her bosses only allow her to do “fluff’ feature pieces. Partnered with veteran cameraman Vern Fenwick (Will Arnett), April stumbles on a huge story: those feisty turtles have become warriors fighting an evil warlord planning to dominate the Big Apple.
Fox chatted about the challenges of being a beautiful woman trying to convince Hollywood to take her seriously, plus working with Whoopi Goldberg and doing all those action scenes.
Q: As an obviously beautiful woman, I’m sure you can relate to your character in this film — who had a hard time getting her bosses to think she was capable of tackling a serious, hard-news story. Your thoughts on the old battle attractive women face convincing others they can also be smart.
A: I think for so long this industry — the film industry — like other businesses, were men industries, totally male-dominated. And we, as women are still breaking ground in many ways. Like the new movie “Lucy” with Scarlett Johansson I think is going to be a real ground-breaker for actresses in general because it’s something they haven’t quite seen before and it’s a big success — doing huge numbers at the box office. In this industry, that’s what matters. If the numbers are big, they keep making those kinds of movies. So Scarlett could be the catalyst for this sort of women’s revolution in Hollywood!
Q: Whoopi Goldberg plays your news director in the film. What was that experience like for you?
A: I was excited to meet her, though you never know what she was going to be like. I met her and she’s funny and humble and open. I’m a really open person and so I think that helped us immediately clicking. From our very first conversation, we really went deep! Right away, there was no shallow conversation and chit-chat between the two of us. I love her a lot. I feel really lucky to have had the opportunity to work with her. She’s iconic.
Q: Of course, since you’re in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” I have to ask if you have a favorite turtle? Since Michaelangelo has such a huge crush on you, would it be him?
A: Actually, even before I got into this project, I always loved him and he was always my favorite. It just happened that in this movie the producers decided it would be fun if Mikey had a crush on April [Fox’s character].
Q: Did you have pet turtles as a kid?
A: I didn’t. I always had cats, and dogs, and then as an adult I had ferrets, and pigs and birds! So I’ve had lots of animals, but never turtles. The reason I didn’t have turtles is that you have to put baby turtles in cages and I don’t want to do that. I just think that’s wrong. I’m not a cage person.
Q: We know there’s a lot of ‘movie magic,’ but that said, it was clear there was a lot of physical stuff you had to do. How was that?
A: Yes, that’s true, but people don’t realize how hard it is to even hyper-ventilate. So those roof scenes where I’m breathing heavy because I’m first meeting the Turtles and I’m overwhelmed — that is really hard. You can almost pass out, because you start losing oxygen in your brain. And no one would guess that’s actually difficult. I would say that’s harder than doing the stunts, actually, because your brain starts spinning out on you, after awhile.