Emmanuel Itier: Diablo, of course we all know your work in Juno. So my question having just seen Jennifer's Body is that if Juno and Needy [Amanda Seyfried's character] are unpopular but very decisive and assertive women, while Jennifer is pretty, popular, and insecure: So, does beauty empower women or…?
EI: Megan, when you look at a character, do you need to empathize with her at all? How do you make her vulnerable?
Megan Fox: I think that was necessary. You didn’t want her to just be a character that you hated and that you were happy to see what happens to her happen. I wanted people to miss her at the end of the movie. It would be easy to play it that way, and I think there were just a couple of key scenes that I chose, in my mind, to try to make as realistic as possible because, once you get into the flesh of the story, she was clearly victimized. She was a victim before she started preying on people. I think she was a victim probably much earlier in her life, before the movie even starts, so I wanted people to feel that.
EI: I don’t want to get into the psychology of it, because maybe I don’t know and I’m in the wrong territory, but a lot of women that are like Jennifer, that use their sexuality — is it because of something in their past? Is it true — that a lot of times there has been abuse or something, so the only thing they know how to use is their body? Do you think it’s like that with Jennifer, in this particular case? You created her.
DC: I created her. I don’t know her that well…
EI: Because then and there, she goes for the guys and just kills them.
MF: She was also sacrificed by a van full of guys.
EI: I’m thinking of two specific scenes: one is the scene by the waterfall where the fragility of your character right there…it was heartbreaking to watch what was going on… to see you go from that to where you’re first in the woods with the high school guys. Which was more difficult for you as an actor?
MF: I think the scene by the waterfall — the sacrifice scene, because she was being humiliated and I wanted to be able to connect that. I didn’t want to bullshit my way through that because if that read false, I would be really embarrassed, so I had to allow myself to feel humiliated for a couple of hours — however long it took to film it. We had to shoot it several times. That was a lot. And there were some jokes in that scene that the studio wasn’t comfortable with because they felt that the scene was playing too real and they weren’t comfortable laughing in those moments, which I personally disagree with because I thought it worked really well and made it really original and unique and different.
EI: What were the jokes?
MF: They were just a couple of jokes, like when he’s about to kill me and I’m sort of bartering with him, and I’m begging him not to and I’m in the middle of this hysteric crying and begging and it’s all very real, but I’m saying like, “I can be a member of your street team and we’re going to make t-shirts…” It was really brilliant, but some people aren’t ready for that.
DC: If I was bargaining for my life, I would be thinking of ways that I could get out of the situation. We also got away with a lot shit in this movie that I’m happy about.
MF: That’s true.
EI: And now the opposite, where you have to be a little more animalistic.
MF: I didn’t really wrap my head around what I wanted to do with the character in that situation. I personally always find something really scary about how you watch little girls grow up learning to manipulate their dads by baby-talking them and then they grow up, and I’m sure you’ve all had a girlfriend or a wife who baby talks you whenever she wants something, so there was an aspect of that that I wanted to the character because that scares me. It’s just so sick on so many levels. But also she needs to be intimidating, and I feel like because I seem so little girlish sometimes, I didn’t have a lot of confidence, so I would be intimidating. So I was trying to mix aggressive and also that psychotic little Lolita.
EI: And a lot of blood too in that…
MF: Yeah, but that’s not difficult on my part; that was special effects.
EI: Megan, because you are this ultimate fantasy in the movie and every guy in the school will do anything to get to you, there are a lot of women that are like that, actually, about the empowerment thing. Is sexuality a huge empowerment for women? I think your character even mentions that in the movie.
MF: I think it should be. I think that God or the universe, or whatever you believe in, gave men brut physical strength and they gave women their sexuality. It’s so easy to control all of you with it, so I don’t know why I wouldn’t embrace it and allow myself to be empowered by it.
DC: I was also given brut physical strength. [Laughs] I’m just like an eater of worlds.
EI: What do you think of the occult? I think, in this movie, it’s talking about witchcraft and the occult and all that. Is that something you’ve ever thought about? Is it ever a part of your life at all?
MF: I can’t say it was ever a part of my life.
EI: People are fascinated with it.
MF: Sure, it’s fascinating. I find it as fascinating as religion, like taking a religious course in college. It’s all interesting, but I would not say that it’s guided me, in any sense of the word.
EI: Any interesting insights from doing this movie?
EI: That’s a good thing.
DC: We made her kill a goat as research.
DC: No, I’m kidding. Can you imagine? That’s gonna be in the paper tomorrow.
EI: It’s a very feminist movie for me. What about your relationship to the occult? You used it as a major dramatic device for the movie.
DC: I was raised Catholic. I went to catholic school for 12 years…
EI: Megan, how do you look at your career now? I mean Transformers — just this phenomenal worldwide success. I think you’ve been bravingly candid about saying it really is a movie about special effects; it’s not really about the actors so much, and yet a movie like this really is about the actors. How do you see your career going?
MF: I have no idea. I just hope I can still be working in ten years. When you’re in something so successful as that movie is, and it is what it is, I think I would feel ridiculous trying to sell that movie as a performance piece, because it clearly is not that. There is pressure to try and prove yourself, but I have no idea what I’m capable of or not. I’m sort of finding that out now and testing my boundaries…
EI: Do you think they’re giving you the chance to find that out?
MF: I’m blessed with the opportunities that I have. I can never complain about the opportunities that people are giving me — ones that I don’t even deserve — so I’m really happy about how that’s going.
EI: What was it about this opportunity for Jennifer’s Body?
MF: I’ve never laughed like that reading a script before, from the first line about when she gets more fan-mail than Jesus. I already had my own little obsession with jokes like that, and that was on the first page. From that moving forward, I just laughed, and the journey that the character goes on, to me, is hysterical and sad. She’s a little pathetic. I just loved it. It was really, really unique and really different, and it read, to me, like an ’80s movie, like something I would have seen with my sister when I was a kid.
EI: Could you correlate? Do you understand having a close friend like that?
MF: No, my friendships are pretty genuine, and that one is sick and codependent.
EI: No, I just meant having that one…
DC: All my friends are assholes.
MF: I only have one friend, yeah.
EI: Do you think that whole codependency is just because it was a small town — that you just had to have each other?
MF: I think it’s just how I read it — it was just two girls that were insecure for their own different reasons and were feeding off of each other and using each other for validation, which I don’t think is uncommon with teenage girls or young girls, but it’s just not something that I personally experience.
EI: How was the wardrobe for you? How did that enhance your character?
MF: There was something so cheese-tastic about the wardrobe, and so gross and so cheap…
EI: That was the whole thing with the zipper. As a guy, that was like, “Whoa!”
MF: It was so like how I used to dress when I was in high school because I had no money. I used to dress from Hot Topic or whatever. It made me feel like that small town character.
EI: You didn’t grow up in a small town, did you?
MF: I grew up in a small town in Florida.
EI: So you understand that…
MF: That small mind mentality? Yeah, sure.
EI: Have you grown as an artist and as actress? Has it changed your womanhood, when you learn something like this?
MF: No, I just think it allowed me to exercise a lot of my own demons through the character, because she’s so unapologetic and irreverent, and it gave me an opportunity to put how I sometimes am fully into a character and not be afraid of it and not have to apologize to people for it.
'Jennifer's Body' is in Theatres now from 20th Century Fox.