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A statuesque actress who flaunted a “bad girl” attitude both on and off the screen, Megan Fox was one of the more popular performers of the new millennium, thanks to major roles as spunky girlfriends and love interests in features like “Transformers” (2007) and numerous, provocative layouts in men’s magazines. After a successful stint as a model, she eventually graduated to television with recurring roles on “Hope and Faith” (ABC, 2003-06). But it was her breakout role via Michael Bay’s summer blockbuster “Transformers” which helped position her as the “new Angelina Jolie.” She certainly had the attitude, looks and tattoos for it. The media blitz helped her graduate to leading lady status with significant tough and sexy roles in a number of features, including the inevitable “Transformers” sequel, “Jennifer’s Body” (2009) for Oscar winner Diablo Cody, and “Jonah Hex” (2010), among others – all of which virtually assured her status as one of the most popular and publicized members of 21st century Young Hollywood.
Born Megan Denise Fox in Rockwood, TN on May 16, 1986, she was the daughter of a former tourism director for Roane County, and though a self-confessed tomboy, began exploring acting and dance at the age of five. After relocating to St. Petersburg, FL, she continued her training throughout high school, and soon added modeling to her list of endeavors. A string of wins at the 1999 American Modeling and Talent Convention convinced her to launch her acting career, so she wasted no time moving to Los Angeles while only 16. Fox made her screen debut as a bratty heiress in the Olsen Twins feature “Holiday in the Sun” (2001), where she was billed under her full name in the closing credits.
Television was her exclusive domain for the next few years, most notably on a Swedish-produced soap opera, “Ocean Ave.” (Syndicated, 2002-03). But she returned to films with a supporting role as Lindsay Lohan’s chief rival in the bubbly comedy “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen” (2004). Not realizing movie stardom was right around the corner, she revisited television as the ditzy but sweet-natured daughter of Faith Ford on the sitcom “Hope and Faith” (ABC, 2003-06). The recurring role earned her a Young Artists Award nomination in 2005.
In 2007, Fox was suddenly catapulted to stardom as the female lead of the Steven Spielberg-produced “Transformers,” based on the popular toy line and animated television series of the early 1980s. Cast opposite fellow newcomer Shia LaBeouf, Fox played yet another in her long line of popular girls, although this one offered some character wrinkles in the form of extensive automotive knowledge, which later came in handy during the film’s climactic battle. Director Michael Bay sought to blunt Fox’s fragile screen persona by requiring her to gain ten pounds of muscle prior to shooting, and bolstered the physical exhaustion required of her character by continually announcing long night shoots. The approach – though draconian – appeared to work. Critics found her a believable action heroine, and she netted several pop movie award nominations, including a 2008 nod from the MTV Movie Awards for Breakthrough Performance.
“Transformers’” key audience – young adult males – was also taking notice of Fox, though not for her acting ability. The buzz surrounding her appearance in the film led to a barrage of photo shoots for male-oriented magazines like Maxim, GQ and FHM – the latter of which named her the “Sexiest Woman in the World” in 2008 – and all of which devoted numerous pages to Fox in various states of undress, highlighting her growing collection of tattoos. The inevitable comparisons to another raven-haired actress with full, pouty lips, tattoos and a wild side were inevitable. In fact, such were the comparisons to Angelina Jolie, Fox was rumored as the replacement for the globe-trotting actress in the “Tomb Raider” film franchise, though reports from 20th Century Fox would dismiss the claim. Her comments in interviews – like her revelation that she had pursued a relationship with a female stripper while still in her teens – certainly helped to fan the publicity fire building around her, as did provocative paparazzi shots with her longtime boyfriend, “Beverly Hills, 90210” (Fox, 1990-2000) actor Brian Austin Green.
However, Fox’s return to acting after the explosive response to “Transformers” was somewhat anticlimactic. “How to Lose Friends and Alienate People” (2008), based on the best-selling memoir of Toby Young’s tenure at Vanity Fair, cast Fox as a model and lust object for Young’s stand-in (Simon Pegg). The film opened to strong box office in England, but disappeared quickly after a brief stint in North American theaters. Still, Fox’s strong presence in the media kept interest on a steady boil, and her participation in several high profile projects quickly raised the temperature. “Transformers: Rise of the Fallen” (2009) was the most obvious of these, but other action-oriented features seemed to indicate that Fox and her handlers were seeking to push her away from the glossy roles of her past. “Jonah Hex,” based on the cult Marvel Comics series, cast her as a gun-toting mistress of the Old West, while “Fathom” (2010) another feature inspired by a graphic novel, cast her as a young amnesiac recruited by the American military for her underwater abilities. The feature also served as her debut in the producer’s chair. Meanwhile, the Diablo Cody-penned “Jennifer’s Body” offered her another about-face as the title character, a cruel cheerleader who begins picking off the local boys in her small town after becoming possessed by a blood-drinking demon.
* Also Credited As:
Megan Denise Fox
Megan Denise Fox on May 16, 1986 in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, United States
* Job Titles:
* Companion: Brian Austin Green. Began dating c. 2004; engaged in November 2006; rumored to have split in February 2009, but sources claim they are working things out
* 1999 Won several awards at the American Modeling and Talent Convention in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
* 2001 Made film debut in the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen movie Holiday in the Sun
* 2004 Played Faith Ford s daughter on the ABC series, Hope & Faith
* 2004 Series regular debut on the short-lived WB comedy The Help
* 2004 Starred in Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, alongside Lindsay Lohan
* 2007 Played Mikaela Banes in Transformers, the love interest of Shia LaBeouf s character
* 2008 Joined the ensemble cast of How to Lose Friends and Alienate People
* 2009 Re-teamed with Shia LaBeouf for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
* Moved to Los Angeles at age 16
* Started training in drama and dance when she was five years-old