Megan Fox: ‘I was so self-righteous at 23… I really thought I was Joan of Arc’

Good American and Khloe Kardashian

Megan Fox covers the December issue of Cosmopolitan UK. Is anyone else feeling more… friendly towards Megan these days? That’s not the right word, but I feel like we should re-assess what she was trying to do back in 2009, when she used her platform as a celebrity to call out Michael Bay. In today’s environment, Megan would be hailed as a heroine for telling her story of sexual harassment, but back then, she was fired from the Transformers franchise for being so “mouthy.” If you remember, Megan said that Bay made her audition by ordering her to come to his house and wash his car in her bikini while he filmed her. It’s still a shocking story, isn’t it? Of course, Megan got in a lot of trouble for saying other sh-t too, like when she said that Bay was “like Hitler.” That was the official reason why Steven Spielberg (who produces the Transformers franchise) wanted Fox out of the film. Anyway, Megan brought all of this up in her Cosmo interview:

What it was like to be fired from Transformers: “That was absolutely the low point of my career. But without – ‘that thing’, I wouldn’t have learned as quickly as I did. All I had to do was apologise – and I refused. I was so self-righteous at 23, I couldn’t see [that] it was for the greater good. I really thought I was Joan of Arc.”

Her career was hurt in the wake of her firing: “It hurt me and a lot of other people. However, that darkness that descended caused enormous and brisk spiritual growth. Once I realised I [had] brought it on myself, it was an invaluable learning experience, looking back on it.”

She’s not really ambitious or career-oriented: “I would never pick work over life. I’m the least ambitious actress! I pick movies that’ll be fun to make. I’m not here to suffer for the art of movie-making or ‘bleed for the craft.’ And I’m not going to be an actress forever… I’ve always known I have another calling.”

She feels typecast in sexy roles: “I still get offered a lot of ‘genius strippers’ and ‘funny escorts’ by guys in the business. But I don’t want to be involved with something genuinely degrading, or that encourages negative sexual ideals about women. Old-school male attitudes towards women, it’s still in all the adverts. When my kids grow up, hopefully that attitude will be gone.”

She’s not ashamed of sex though: “I’m not ashamed of sexy poses or parts. Women shouldn’t go out of their way to be dowdy. Being feminine is a very sexy thing. It’s just a biological fact: sex does sell. But I wish it were more gender equal. I’m happy to buy some sex, too. It’s not wrong; it just needs to go both ways. Women shouldn’t have to carry the burden. And I think we have so far.”

[From Cosmo UK & E! News]

I appreciate how honest she is about thinking that she was “Joan of Arc” and refusing to apologize. I remember how she was back then – 23-year-old and believing that she could do no wrong. She spent several years after that in some kind of limbo, barely getting work and being “punished” for pissing off Spielberg and Bay. Bay did eventually forgive her – if he was even that mad at her – by casting her in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I believe they’re still pretty close, actually, which is weird, right?

As for this: “Women shouldn’t go out of their way to be dowdy.” I will fight her about that. Some days, I don’t give a sh-t if I look dowdy. Some days, I wear my wool clogs with embroidered felt “puppies” and my most unflattering fleece and those clothes just make me happy.

Embed from Getty Images

Cover courtesy of Cosmo UK, additional photo courtesy of Getty.

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105 Responses to “Megan Fox: ‘I was so self-righteous at 23… I really thought I was Joan of Arc’”

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  1. Lexter says:

    I saw her dowdy comment more as women shouldn’t feel ashamed to like dressing sexily… they aren’t betraying feminism by dressing in a conventionally attractive way

  2. Sixer says:

    I’m pretty much dowdy. I object to the implication that I go out of my way to be dowdy! I’m actually dowdy because I’m far too lazy to go to the effort of being anything other than dowdy, thankyouverymuch. Jus’ sayin’.

  3. Louise says:

    She sounds kind of cool! No shade from me.

  4. Sullivan says:

    Hollywood sounds like a soul-sucking hell on earth.

  5. cleveland girl says:

    Thank goodness…it looks like low rise jeans might be coming back for Spring! I hate the highrise and midrise ones.

  6. teacakes says:

    To everyone asking why more women didn’t speak out sooner – what happened to Megan Fox after she spoke out against Bay was the textbook illustration of why not.

  7. Dinah says:

    I cancelled Spielberg for what I see to be an overreaction to Fox’s remarks. Often, our proportionality to react to news of injustices are out of whack. Fox was effectively black balled by the industry, for speaking up against a male bully of a director. Her choice of words was stupid, but it was her who received the worst treatment, not the bullies. That doesn’t seem fair in hindsight.

    • Div says:

      I’ve always side-eyed Spielberg for that overreaction. Megan, in rightfully calling out Bay, did make an insensitive, hyperbolic comment but one that many people have wrongly casually slung around before. Not only did he fire her but the rumor is that he went out of his way to blacklist her…you think he would spend that effort on domestic abusers, Mel Gibson, etc. but nope.

      I woldn’t be surprised if some dirt came out on him in the future tbh.

      • Eleonor says:

        When Corey Feldman talked about being abused, and pedophiles in Hollywood, and that he couldn’t name names because those predators were and still are very powerful I’ve always thought about him. Not directly as a predator , but as someone who knew what was going on.

    • ELX says:

      She was young and stupid, but to think you can call someone “Hitler” in public over a work dispute at Steven Spielberg’s company and he would or should let THAT ride is also not smart. Let’s not get it twisted, she admits herself that all she had to do was apologize for the Hitler remark, which she should have because sexually harassing a-hole does not equal Hitler. If she’d managed to keep it on the car-washing bikini audition she might’ve managed to get some traction.

      • Annabelle Bronstein says:

        That is A LOT of maturity that you’re demanding of a 23-year-old up-and-coming female actor. Odd that you are not requiring the same maturity of middle aged men.

      • Bettyrose says:

        Yeah, I always thought it was the hitler comment and refusal to apologize that got her blacklisted. Have others in Hollywood gotten away with much worse? Sure, but her behavior would’ve gotten her in trouble at many workplaces, so this isn’t just a case of her being punished for calling out harrassment.

      • VirgiliaCoriolanus says:

        @Betty rose
        The other issue is that she was constantly late and a pain in the ass on set. The Hitler comments were just the breaking point. And Shia (who I’m sure was just as difficult) got the boot too when he said Spielberg dropped the ball (on the new Indiana Jones film they did)….

    • PPP says:

      And Shia LaBoeuf didn’t suffer and was ten times the twat.

    • PPP says:

      Well, I believe Spielberg’s reaction when Max Landis called him after killing Vic Morrow and two Asian kids on the Twilight Zone was lawyer-lawyer-lawyer. And thanks to his help he has a career and so does his monstrous spawn. So, literally killing people is fine by Spielberg, but got forbid you use “Hitler” to describe someone as dictator-like, which is actually super common in every day conversation.

    • Zikifly says:

      Agreed. She made a stupid Hitler analogy – while that was probably especially offensive to Spielberg, it’s something a lot of people do at that age, and honestly later too. How many people call themselves ‘food nazis’ or ‘cleaning nazis’? Bay, on the other hand, was a notorious raging a-hole for years, and in the light of all the revelations that have come out, quite possibly a lot worse. She got blackballed, Bay made billions. Given everything we’ve heard lately about how harassment and abuse seem to be the norm, I feel like Spielberg is just part of the boys club – ruining her career, but letting Bay slide because he made him more money. The past few weeks have made me feel bad for people like Fox and even Katherine Heigl, who were blackballed for being ‘difficult’, when so much worse is going on.

    • msd says:

      To be fair, don’t we only have Bay’s word for that? He said “Stephen told me to immediately fire her.” Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t, maybe he just said he disliked the comment … Bay’s word can’t be trusted at all. He also got crew members to gang up on Fox online and defend him.

    • neelyo says:

      Me too! I was never a fan anyway but once he got involved I was done with him. And I became a Megan Fox fan.

  8. Lucy says:

    Nice interview. I think she has grown to become that woman she used to think she was.

  9. Medusa says:

    Everytime I see Megan Fox I just curse her for messing with perfection. She looked beautiful before all the surgeries and whatnot and she also has pretty decent comedic timing. Now she looks like a relatively well-preserved 50+ year old who can barely move her face and looks constipated all the time. It was very distracting on New Girl.

  10. Nancy says:

    I like low rise jeans as well, but wouldn’t have my hands in them pulling them down to the pubic bone. Megan, that’s why you get type cast in sexy roles! She’s pretty, but I can’t get over the fact the love of her life is David Silver! Lol

  11. Div says:

    I’ve always felt a bit bad for Megan and it was disgusting how people reacted to her rightfully calling out sexism. She said some problematic things, but many male stars have said and done far worse (cough cough Shia). Additionally, she was in her late teens, early 20s and a lot of us say dumb things at that age. People and the media were incredibly over the top with the vitriol to her missteps. I also side eye Spielberg for essentially blacklisting her.

    I sometimes wonder if there was some unfair backlash for young “it” girls after Lilo’s fall for grace circa 2007 (as in people/media didn’t have any patience for youthful mistakes anymore and women who didn’t fit the traditional good girl image)…which was right around when Megan started to hit it big.

  12. mynameispearl says:

    I just clicked on the link to the celebitchy post from 2009, I read through to the comments. The majority of them are so negative and misogynistic to Megan for speaking out, it’s actually mind blowing. At least this site has become a bit less ‘bitchy’ in the intervening years.

  13. Katherine says:

    What? She called someone out, they fired her and now *she*’s sorry? I’m tired of women being told to sit down and shut up, I cannot believe I used to think it was ‘unbecoming’ to stand up for my own god damn interests and rights!

  14. MP says:

    Wow!l people still think she needed to have apologized. This site takes her over the coals. The only thing WRONG with her speaking out was that it wasn’t ‘trendy’ to sympathize with the victim. Now it is and people like the feeling of supporting the underdog. I felt so bad for her then and all the comments on here back then were so toxic. But I wonder how many people will own up to it? Even this article is still thinks it’s fine that she viewed herself mistakenly as Joan of Arc. Nah sis! She was just a niave strong woman that spoke out and thought decent people would understand. She was beaten down and still people want to pick over the carcass of her career.

  15. T.Fanty says:

    She says that she brought this on herself and was self-righteous. She is effectively blaming herself for speaking out, not the men for doing this in the first place. She has all but apologized and take responsibility for their bad actions.

    • JosieH says:

      What bad actions, though? I certainly don’t blame Spielberg at all. He’s Jewish, and clearly the allusion to Hitler offended him. If you offend your boss on a personal level, getting fired is going to be a potential consequence. That hardly makes your boss the bad guy.

      As for Bay and the audition, Fox was auditioning for what amounted to an eye candy role. How she looked mattered. I’m sure Chris Hemsworth had to take his shirt off in order to secure his role as Thor. It’s the nature of the beast.

      • MC2 says:

        Bay told her to come to his personal residence & wash his car in a bikini while he watched & video taped it. That is not the same as asking an actor/model to take off their shirt during a professional audition. Saying that sexual harassment is the nature of the beast is complicit & supports abuse.

  16. Littlestar says:

    I want to know the secret that celebrities enjoy during their pregnancies that not only leaves them without stretch marks but leaves their belly buttons intact. Megan Fox has had three pregnancies if I’m correct and still has an intact belly button?! Kim K got huge during her first pregnancy and had a subsequent one and still has a stomach like before. I had one small 7 lb baby and gained a total of only 28 lbs and my belly button is wrecked, looks like someone set off dynamite in it. I know there must be some secret these ladies have :(

    • Darla says:

      Plastic surgery and photoshop is the secret.

      • Truthful says:

        also: being slender to begin with, working out, not taking to much weight during pregnancies (the needed one),taking extra good care of your skin (ry brushing, moisturizing, nurturing with heavy ointments ,and using belly bandit afterwards)

        ….this is the routine I had during my pregnancy and I bounced back in a couple of months, wearing a bikini .

        All I want to say is it’s a LOT of work AL- LOT (let alone after 3 kids!… I can’t even imagine), but not necessarily photoshop or surgery

      • Littlestar says:

        @ Darla, there must be something they do during the pregnancy too that prevents aftermath. I’m sure if we ask them though they’ll say it was from juicing and bathing in sunshine lol.

        @truthful yeah i did all that. Gained weight slowly, started off slim and fit already, ate nutritious food during pregnancy (especially foods that would be good for skin, like healthy fats, vitamin c, a, and e. Etc), used vitamin e and coconut oil + massage on the skin for stimulation. Did all that and it didn’t work, bellybutton ruined and small but noticable white stretch marks. These celebrities have much more than that, there’s no way they’re all just “lucky” or reaping the benefits of fitness or genes, they’re doing something else.

      • Truthful says:

        @Littlestar: so sorry :/

        And yeah they might be doing something

    • megs283 says:

      LOL. Has anyone else seen Thor? Remember what they called the biggest hole in the solar system over that planet? …that’s my belly button.

  17. Darla says:

    The Hitler comment was something you don’t say, but she was too young to realize that, and Spielberg should have known that and maybe he should have asked Bay HEY WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO THIS GIRL??

    So, while I understand she said a wrong word, what Spielberg did has cancelled him for me EVER SINCE. I can’t stand him and I personally believe he has plenty of skeletons in that closet.

    Bay is a disgusting excuse for a human being and I look forward to the day he is run out of town.

    Did you see what Gal Gadot did? That’s what happens when women gain power and know how to wield it. JaLaw has that power she doesn’t know how to wield it or even that she has it.

    But Gadot, slightly older, and the mother of two small girls, got some power and she knows how to use it, and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT

  18. Sophia's Side eye says:

    I’ve always liked Megan. It seems she was a little before her time in speaking out about predatory behavior in Hollywood. So many times I read about how “ungrateful” she was because Michael Bay gave her her big break, so who cares about the bikini car wash? *eyeroll* I’m glad she’s been able to carve out a nice career for herself that she enjoys.

  19. A Fan says:

    Life has a way of knocking a person down a few pegs when they are too full of themselves. She got the message – good for her.

    [*Not everyone does.*]

  20. JA says:

    The more I read about Megan the more I like her. I always assumed she was exactly the person the movies portrayed her as and wasn’t a fan. Nice to hear she was/is self aware of how the industry showcased her and the personal growth she went through. Sounds like she is not apologizing for speaking out but perhaps the way she went about it?? Either way bay is gross and glad she is able to balance work and life and still embrace being more than the “hot chick”.

  21. Chloeee says:

    I always liked her. She was brash but not always wrong. I picked up on her sarcastic tone in interviews like the whole falling in love with a stripper. Idk, obvious sarcasm to me. I knew she’d mellow out a little and people would come around on her. She’s quirky but I like it. I do miss her OG face but I’m also glad she mellowed out. And she has. There was one premiere (can’t remember if it was for transformers or Jennifer’s body) but her face was so tight there was a vein in her forehead I couldn’t stop focusing on.

  22. PPP says:

    “I believe they’re still pretty close, actually, which is weird, right?”

    Meagan Fox was basically in a family that gaslighted her when she tried to tell them a family member was abusing her. The whole world told her she was wrong. That’s obviously the lesson she took from the ordeal. Just like some victims of abuse forgive their abuser and spend time with them under the duress of family, so does Megan Fox.

  23. DesertReal says:

    Every single day I wear, dress, or look how I want to. Usually it means no makeup, and a ponytail, then off to work in a pair of scrubs.
    That’s not what she’s talking about.
    I believe she was trying to say women should purposely censor themselves, or dial their physical sexual down to appease someone else?
    But then articulation was never Megans strength.
    If she would’ve said Bay was like a egotistical tyrant- I doubt Spielberg would’ve gotten so butt-hurt about it.

  24. NotSoSocialButterfly says:

    ‘As for this: “Women shouldn’t go out of their way to be dowdy.” I will fight her about that. Some days, I don’t give a sh-t if I look dowdy. Some days, I wear my wool clogs with embroidered felt “puppies” and my most unflattering fleece and those clothes just make me happy.’

    I hear what you are saying. I think she was talking about hiding her assets/sensuality out of fear of attention or being shamed by men ( and possibly women), rather than what you are saying- that it’s just comfy, and you don’t feel like doing more that particular day.

  25. Abby says:

    She makes a lot of sense here! I’ve always thought she is stunning. She used to have a bunch of word vomit though.. as many of us did at 23. Not about what happened with bay–she just was a little out there. She sounds really mature here. Yay!

  26. Vanessa says:

    People’s attitudes have changed a lot since those 2009 links huh? Seems like back then, even your sympathies were with Bay, and y’all were pretty nasty about Fox.

  27. Okie says:

    I like her and I think she’s gorgeous but when she goes out of her way to create a very sexy image for herself, she really can’t complain when she is typecast into sexy roles. She manufactured her image and chose to go that route.

  28. Vovacia says:

    I had no problems with her even back when she was 23. If you are a woman and had any sense and wisdom about you, you knew exactly what she was getting at back then, no matter how poor the delivery. But people – and that includes a lot of women -just took the opportunity to crush her further. Shame she doesn’t really seem to work anymore. I really enjoyed her in Jennifer’s Body.

  29. Leviathan says:

    “I was so self righteous at 23. I thought I was Joan of Arc”

    But at least SHE grew out of it.

  30. Jordan says:

    I’m 28 now and I’ve always loved her. I was that way too but at 25 after I got away somewhat from my abusive ex-partner. What I didnt love about Megan are those god awful cheek implants. Jennifer’s Body/Trans 2 was her best one.

  31. Naddie says:

    She seems to be the kind of person you talk to for a whole afternoon and you don’t realize how fast time’s gone. Always enjoy her recent interviews.

  32. bella says:

    So gorgeous and Isaw her and New girl while Zooey Deschanel was on maternity leave, and she was hilarious1 She should do more comedy.