'TMNT' Megan Fox & Director Jonathan Liebesman Discuss the Sexualization of April O'Neill
Michael Bay films are known for many things: They are known for their intense action sequences, their bevy of muscle-clad men and their constant sexualization of women. The most commonly referenced example of this trifecta can be found in the Transformer franchise, starring lots of CGI-robots and an often scantily-clad Megan Fox. And now the actress is starring in another Michael Bay film (however this time directed by Jonathan Liebesman and produced by Bay). Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is similar to Transformers, except this time, the robots are swapped with larger-than-life mutant turtles and Fox is a journalist, not a high school student.
At the press day for the film, Bustle, along with other outlets, gathered to speak with Fox, director Liebesman, Will Arnett and others about the cartoon-turned-action-flick reboot.
Arrested Development's Will Arnett's character Vern plays a love interest, or rather, a love interest with an unrequited crush, for Megan Fox's April O'Neill.
"It's pretty early on in the movie that Vern makes his lame attempt at romancing April, and then Mickey moves in. It's hard to compete with a turtle..." Arnett said, referencing the crush that mutant turtle Michelangelo also has on O'Neill.
But what's apparent in this film, compared to a Michael Bay directed Transformers flick, is that Fox keeps her clothes on throughout the film. This isn't to say the camera doesn't linger on her backside for seconds more than is necessary for the plot, but she isn't hunkered over a broken down car in little more than a cleavage revealing crop top.
"Megan is obviously incredibly sexy and I don't think we need to... listen, it was important not to make a huge point out it," Liebesman said of Fox's characters sexuality. "I wasn't trying to service fans who look at Megan's Maxim pictures, I was servicing fans who love Ninja Turtles and April's our window in. I just wasn't interested in sexualizing April," he said.
Fox, however, said she doesn't mind being sexualized at all. When asked whether or not it was "appealing" that she didn't have to strip down for the role, Fox didn't really care one way or another.
"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 I can't be taken seriously while wearing a tank top. And if you don't take me seriously while I'm wearing a tank top then that's your fucking problem, not mine," she said.
She concluded by speaking directly to her haters, that is, the people who do not appreciate TMNT on a critical level (aka a lot of critics thus far): "Let me tell you something about those people," she said. "How much money did Transformers 4 make? Exactly. Those people are gonna see it, they're gonna love it, and if they don't love it they can fuck off."
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hits theatres Friday, August 8.