Megan Fox began working as an actress in 2001, but it wasn't until 2007's Transformers that she became a household name. Fox played Mikaela Banes, a high school girl with an interest in fixing cars who, thanks to director Michael Bay's lens, became a target for the male gaze, a perception that followed her for years.
In 2009, Fox starred in the cult horror flick Jennifer's Body, which was heavily sexualized in its marketing and led to the perceived version of the film being different than what was actually on the screen. For Fox, that period of being sexualized and objectified were taking a toll on her, ultimately leading to a "dark moment" in her life that she described as a "psychological breakdown."
"I think I had a genuine psychological breakdown where I wanted just nothing to do," she told Entertainment Tonight. "I didn't want to be seen, I didn't want to have to take a photo, do a magazine, walk a carpet, I didn't want to be seen in public at all because the fear, and the belief, and the absolute certainty that I was going to be mocked, or spat at, or someone was going to yell at me, or people would stone me or savage me for just being out… so I went through a very dark moment after that."
"It wasn't just that movie, it was everyday of my life, all the time, with every project I worked on and every producer I worked with," she added. "It preceded a breaking point for me."
Fox added that criticism of Jennifer's Body wasn't high on her list of concerns at the time.
"There was so much going on with me at that time, that movie being picked apart was not at the top of [my list of concerns]," she recalled. "Because I had such a fraught relationship with the public, and the media, and journalists, and I was struggling so much at that time in general, this didn't stand out as a particularly painful moment, it was just part of the mix."
The mom of three spoke out around 10 years ago about her treatment in the industry, specifically by Bay, though she admitted that she doesn't think her response was received the same way it would have been if she addressed the issues for the first time today.
"I feel like I was sort of out and in front of the #MeToo movement before the #MeToo movement happened, I was speaking out and saying, 'Hey, these things are happening to me and they're not OK,'" she explained. "And everyone was like, 'Oh well, f— you. We don't care, you deserve it.' Because everybody talked about how you looked or how you dressed or the jokes you made."0comments
"My words were taken and used against me in a way that was — at that time in my life, at that age and dealing with that level of fame — really painful," she added to the New York Times last year. "I don’t want to say this about myself, but let’s say that I was ahead of my time and so people weren’t able to understand."
Photo Credit: Getty / Rich Polk