There was a time that the name “Megan Fox” would immediately make you think of transforming CGI robots, Maxim magazine covers, volunteer Ferrari car washes, bikinis, sexy face, and to some people, a sub-basement level of acting skills. Like when Megan Fox implied she was too smart to be in the Transformers franchise, which Michael Bay responded to by implying that she’s exactly the type of person who should be in Transformers. And I’m sure there were critics who were nodding in agreement. Megan recently sat down to chat with Refinery 29 about her latest film, Rogue. And her interview began with her confidently stating that there’s no way she was as bad an actress as everyone had made her think she was.
Megan’s interview was part of a series for Refinery 29 called “Writing Critics’ Wrongs,” in which they examine past film criticism that maybe wasn’t entirely accurate or justified when it was first published. Refinery 29 writes that film criticism has been a field generally dominated by white men, which doesn’t exactly lend itself to a variety of points of view or opinions. So Refinery 29’s latest history re-write goes to the career of Megan Fox. Megan says that while filming Rogue in South Africa, she caught one of her movies on TV one day. She doesn’t say which movie she found while flipping channels. But she did say that she thought her performance was alright.
A previous performance of hers that had been eviscerated by critics was playing on one of the local channels, and against all her better instincts, she decided to watch. “This is not that bad,” she remembered thinking. “This isn’t Scorsese or a Francis Ford Coppola masterpiece, but it’s not bad. I’m not bad in it.”
And when she recognized that she wasn’t bad in said mystery movie, she had an a-ha moment, where she realized that she had absorbed all the bad reviews of her work, and convinced herself that she really was Megan Fox, Seven-Time Razzie-Nominated Actress.
“I started getting really angry. I was like, Fuck that, why did I live for a decade thinking that I was shit at something when I was actually pretty decent at it? That led to this realization that I’d been in a self-imposed prison for so much of my life.”
Refinery 29 mentions that a lot of people have been kinder to Megan’s career in recent years, like acknowledging that Jennifer’s Body is a legitimately good movie.
And let’s guess what movie she was watching. It’s going to be difficult to narrow down, because as I mentioned above, Megan has been nominated for seven Razzie awards, and they are: Worst Actress (Jennifer’s Body, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Jonah Hex, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows), Worst Supporting Actress (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), and Worst Onscreen Combo (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Jonah Hex). Her lowest-rated film of that collection is Jonah Hex, which holds a 12% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. But that’s not the lowest: 2011’s Passion Play, where she starred alongside Mickey Rourke, hovers at the 3% mark. I know for sure it wasn’t Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, because everyone can agree that her portrayal of rich bitch Dance Slam champion Carla Santini was an acting peak.
But looking back, it’s very clear that Megan wasn’t nearly as bad an actress as some critics said she was. After all, it takes a good, competent actor to film garbage like Jonah Hex without once breaking character and saying, “Oh wow, this movie is so stupid.”