Film & TV

Megan Fox Talks Ninja Turtles and Motherhood

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

When it comes to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, it seems Hollywood star Megan Fox is just a fan like the rest of us.

Teaming up with cameraman Vern Fenwick (Will Arnett), the actress plays a key role in Jonathan Liebesman’s revamp – as plucky and ambitious reporter April O’Neil – who in the midst of trying to catapult her career, stumbles across the other-worldly turtles. With plenty of other movie offers on the table, it was a desire to see the iconic characters back on the big screen that first drew Fox to the project; something that many of us can relate to – turtle power!

With the film being released on DVD and Bu-ray in February, we caught up with the outspoken star to chat about turtle fandom, the priorities of motherhood and getting in shape for the part.

You went from fighting robots in Transformers to dealing with ninja turtles. Have you always been a fan?

A super fan! I have never pursued anything more. I was so excited about this. In the past I always felt that the universe just forced things onto me and I just did the jobs that presented themselves, but this one I really wanted! I have never done it before in my career, but I went after this job with full force.

What appealed most about this role?

It was just nice to work with a team where your opinion as an actor matters. That’s not always the case, at least in my experience, and on this set it was truly a team effort.

So did director Jonathan Liebesman make a great team captain?

Absolutely. Jonathan is exactly that. A great team player and he’s got a great sense of humour too. That’s something that makes you want to go to work every day.

Rumour has it that you and Michael Bay weren’t the best of friends after your last Transformers film and he’s the producer for TMNT. How was the renewed co-operation?

I didn’t see him on set. He wasn’t there because he was filming Transformers 4. I spoke on the phone with him a couple of times and sometimes there were rumours flying around that Big Daddy Bay was coming to set, but that didn’t happen. It was fine. Michael and I get along just fine.

Tell us about the cast, how was working with Whoopi Goldberg and Will Arnett?

Whoopi has such a big charisma. She was so amazing to work with. Some people you work with your energy either mixes or it doesn’t and she is one of those people that opens up. Will is just funny; I am a big Arrested Development fan, so for me it was just fun to have him there.

Now that you’re a mother, how much were you thinking this is a movie your kids could see one day?

That was actually at the forefront of my mind. To me it’s so cool, and I hope they think this movie is cool as well, but they never usually think anything their parents are doing is cool…

How have your priorities changed since you became a mother?

I would say that it’s just that other priorities have entered my life and I really like it when I can share those priorities with other co-stars who are parents.

What has become less important?

Anything that doesn’t have anything to do with my children. I was never super ambitious, but now when I consider working, I am very adamant that it’s in LA because I can’t travel. I also want to be part of an ensemble because I don’t want to carry the weight of the whole movie and have to shoot every day for three months.

Is there an ideal job?

If I could shoot for just 10 days and then be done. That would be ideal, but will probably never happen. That’s what I am looking for; I have the luxury of making one movie a year and still be in the situation where I can financially support my family.

And if you weren’t?

I feel so lucky with my career choice. I’m the kind of woman that if I wasn’t able to make a living with the amount of time I invest, I would probably give it up. I just don’t want to be without my kids for too long!

Can you pinpoint why the turtles are so cool?

Each of the four turtles is based on the four Greek temperaments. We all can see ourselves in one of them. It’s just a perfect formula and it works for everyone. I don’t know if that was intentional or an accident.

You really believe that we can all be found in one of the turtles?

Yes, some of us are like Michelangelo, some are like Leo and some are Raph. We can all relate, and it’s just fun. It appeals to the inner child that we all have in us and unleashes it. You don’t have to make excuses.

Which turtle do you identify with most?

Michelangelo. He’s the free spirit. He’s the one that doesn’t take anything too seriously. I identify with him the most, but then there are my Leo moments. I can be a little melancholic at times, but that’s the part of my personality I don’t want to explore so much.

Have you ever had a pet turtle?

No, never had a pet turtle but I go to Hawaii every year and visit a sea turtle there all the time. I named one Franklin. He has an oozy left eye. He’s my buddy.

Do you have many action scenes in the film?

Not too many. A lot of them got cut out because we reworked the story. But I can tell you this, when actors do action scenes they always feel like bad asses on the set and the real professionals that stand by laugh at us. I just know it. They think we are a joke which is fine with me!

Was it tough getting in shape after the second baby?

It’s easier the second time. I had to change my diet though. I can’t eat bread the same way I did before. I eat a lot of fruits and veggies now. It’s boring, but I have to do it. 

How often do you workout?

I go in once a week with a trainer and he punishes me for only coming in once a week. I do 1.5 hours. My trainer usually makes me do short bursts of cardio and then I lift weights. Classic curling quads with cardio.

Plus, kids are their own workout, right?

Yes, the kids are the best exercise for me. I wear one of those bracelets sometimes that counts the steps. I had 14,000 steps on there the other day and that was just inside the house. It’s always up and down, chasing around, and my baby wants to be held the entire time. He won’t let me sit down. He wants me to move the whole time. They definitely keep me fit!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on 16th February 2015.