LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Two years ago few people knew her face, much less her name. But now Megan Fox of “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” is among Hollywood’s hottest actresses whose sex appeal has won millions of fans.
While many of the 23-year-old’s peers might want to avoid the label “sex symbol” for fear it would obscure their acting talent, Fox, whose new “Transformers” sequel debuts in theaters on Wednesday, is just the opposite.
She thinks being sexy has its advantages. It helped get Fox her start in 2007’s original, big-budget action flick “Transformers” from director Michael Bay, and that has led her to her other parts where she is now achieving what she set out to do in Hollywood -- become a real actress.
“Women in movies, in general, are sexy -- especially in Michael’s movies. And if you want to make movies that people want to see, that’s part of it. That’s part of the formula,” Fox told reporters at a recent news conference.
Bay, who was sitting with her, chimed in: “It’s called summer fun. It’s a robot movie.”
“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” is based on the popular toys and cartoons about shape-shifting cars which morph into “autobots” that fight alien “decepticons” who want to control Earth. In the 2007 movie, the decepticons got thrashed in the final battle. Now, they’re back to avenge their losses.
The effects-filled movies are aimed mostly at young men, and with that in mind Bay hired the attractive brunette from Tennessee to co-star as the movie’s main love interest, Mikaela Banes, who favors tight jeans and even tighter t-shirts.
Bay, ever willing to indulge fan tastes, has made sure Fox’s first appearance in “Revenge of the Fallen” has an impact. As Mikaela, the lanky actress is filmed from behind, sprawled on a motorcycle in hotpants and motorcycle boots.
“We got that first shot out of the way, just to get it out for the young boys...and moved on,” Bay said.
Before 2007, most of Fox’s work had been small parts on TV and in movies, but fan buzz from the smash hit “Transformers” ($700 million global box office) catapulted her to stardom.
“The movie, its success and how well it was received has opened a lot of doors for me, career-wise,” Fox said.
Fox wants to be more than just a pretty face in Hollywood’s next big action flick, and when “Transformers” “opened a lot of doors” for her, she took advantage.
She will soon star opposite Oscar-nominees Josh Brolin and John Malkovich in sci-fi Western “Jonah Hex”, due to hit theaters later this year. In September, she headlines supernatural comedy “Jennifer’s Body”, penned by Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody (“Juno”).
“I’ve been able to be a part of films I don’t really feel like I deserve to have been a part of,” she said, in a nod to her lack of experience.
But what Fox can’t quite get her head around, is the price of fame -- constantly being hounded by paparazzi and press.
“Being photographed at Whole Foods, or like coming out of Rite-Aid with your shampoo bottles and stuff, that’s new to me,” Fox said.
Reporting by Edwin Chan, Editing by Bob Tourtellotte