Let's get one thing straight — Megan Fox is no slouch.
In fact, the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" star and mom of two was newly pregnant with her now-5-month-old son, Bodhi, when she started filming the action-packed summer movie, hitting theaters August 8. Not only that, but she had a baby on her hands as well. Her older son, Noah, with husband Brian Austin Green, wasn't even a year old at the time.
"I wasn't even quite seven months post-partum when I got pregnant again," the 28-year-old actress tells mom.me about her first few days on the sweltering New York set.
But because Fox was such a fan of the characters — and those TMNT films from the late '80s/early '90s — she wanted to make it work.
Fox sat down with mom.me at a roundtable to talk motherhood, missing milestones and what it's like for women in Hollywood. According to the "TMNT" actress, when it comes to making movies, you need to be your own superhero.
How was it filming "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" while pregnant?
I got pregnant 10 days, I think, into filming this. And this is an action movie, so there are a lot of stunts. We were filming in New York City in the summer. It's hot, and you know during your first trimester all you want to do is just watch Bravo and lay in bed and you don't want to get up and do stuff. I was waking up and I working 18-19 hour days to get this done. That's the one thing about filmmaking — you can't call in sick, or you can't say like, ‘Oh, my kid has a fever’ or ‘I can't come in today,’ because when you shut down production for a day, that's a $1 million-$3 million loss. And so you have to just make it work.
And everything turned out OK with your pregnancy ...
We made it work and I did it, and my son was enormous. Everyone is safe and healthy and he was fine! The other thing is in Hollywood, you don't want to show weakness as a woman because it is such a misogynist industry. To ever go to work and be like, ‘I have debilitating cramps,’ you can't do that. You can't be like, ‘Can I have a hot water bottle for my stomach?’ You have to act like you're a superhero in order to be taken seriously or put on an equal playing field as the men. As soon as you like have a woman's body and have women's issues, it’s like, 'Oh, you're a hazard for us," basically. So you just have to pretend that you're a lot stronger than you are a lot of the time."
Were you already a "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" fan?
I was. I have an older sister. She's 12 years older, so I think I was about 4 or 5 when I saw — well, the first one I actually saw was "The Secret of the Ooze," which was the [1991 "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"] sequel. We had the VHS tapes.
So they've been talking about remaking this movie for a long time, and finally it sort of came into fruition, and then I got in for a meeting. I just fired off tons of emails, basically begging to be in the movie because the character's sort of this very ambitious journalist type, and I knew that when you say those words you don’t necessarily think of me, so I was going to have to fight for it.
How has motherhood changed what projects you choose?
I've always only made one or two movies a year because I've never been ambitious, and I've never been really career-oriented. It's always something that I do, as a lot of other people do, to pay bills, and that's how you make your money. And it's not like ... I don't feel like my ego is wrapped up into it, and I don't feel like it's necessarily where my heart is at all, and so now that I have kids and I feel like I do know where my heart is obviously, it's about getting up the nerve to work because I hate leaving [my children].
When you're on set for 16 hours, you don't want to stick a baby in a trailer for 16 hours. You want them to be able to go to gymnastics class or music class, and you don't get to go with them so there are things you miss. And luckily I was there; [Noah] started crawling the day after my birthday, and it was a weekend so I saw it. I didn't miss that, but you know those are the things when you go to work and you're leaving, you're afraid you're going to miss or afraid they're going to feel rejected cause you're not there.
As an actress, do you feel pressure to keep your body a certain way, especially now that you're a mom?
Before my kids, I was always ... I just didn't have to deal with that. I was really lucky that way. And now I've had two kids and now I do have to be like, 'I'm not eating bread,' and I hate that. And so I have those moments too, that everyone feels. The pressure is horrible for what we do, but I think that Hollywood now is sort of embracing curvier women, obviously with like Sofia Vergara and the Kardashians and whatever. And granted, they're all in extraordinary shape, but they're definitely curvier than I've ever been blessed to be or than the typical actress has been accepted previously. So I think we're sort of moving in a direction where we are sort of embracing different types of figures and different versions of what is beautiful.