I'm no fan of Megan Fox's breathless, booty-shaking performances in the Transformers movies- was anyone?—but I felt sorry for the actress after she was unfairly pilloried by sections of the media last week.
Conversely her Transformers co-star Shia La Beouf got off easily after he publicly derided Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Steven Spielberg: a clear case of biting the hand that feeds and a breach of the unspoken Hollywood rule about respecting co-workers.
Numerous media outlets gleefully seized on reports that Fox had been dumped from the third instalment of the Transformers franchise, claiming Michael Bay was exacting revenge after the actress supposedly said the director wants “to be like Hitler.”
Those same outlets were then forced to set the record straight after Megan's representatives issued a statement insisting it was her decision not to return for the next edition, which will shoot this northern summer for release in July 2011.
Still, MTV blogger Terri Schwartz was typical of those commentators who took an unseemly delight in mocking the 24-year-old actress, declaring in an open letter to her, “You're still our favourite young Hollywood sex symbol, we promise! (Though others are desperately trying to replace you.) But it's not quite the same without that vision of you bent over the hood of a Camaro and alighting Sam Witwicky and millions of men's imaginations.”
It's just more bad press for Megan after being widely pilloried for her performance in Jennifer's Body, and reports of her prima donna-like behaviour on the set of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, which prompted three anonymous cast members to post a letter maligning her as a “thankless, classless, graceless, and unfriendly bitch.”
Well, dropping out of Transformers may not be a bad career move for the actress, who will next be seen in Jonah Hex, an action-thriller with Josh Brolin, John Malkovich and Will Arnett. Beyond that she has roles lined up in The Crossing as the wife of a guy who's kidnapped as they return from a Mexican vacation; Fathom, an action-fantasy about a young woman who learns she is a member of a race of aquatic humanoids who possess the ability to control water; and Passion Play, which will star Mickey Rourke as a down-on-his-heels trumpet player who finds redemption in Fox's angel in 1950s Los Angeles.
As for Shia, he made some highly intemperate remarks at the Cannes International Film Festival while promoting Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. Describing the last Indie Jones adventure as a snooze, he said, "When you drop the ball, you drop the ball. You can blame it on the writer and you can blame it on Steven. I'll probably get a call. But he needs to hear this."
Not much gratitude or recognition there that the actor basically owes his stardom to Spielberg, who gave him his first big break in Disturbia. Surprisingly, Shia's gratuitous comments prompted very little adverse reaction, and he was supported by the Los Angeles Times' Patrick Goldstein, who said, “You'd think that LaBeouf would be deluged with e-mails and giant bouquets of flowers for having the temerity to tell the truth. As anyone who sat through Indiana Jones in a theatre could tell you, it was a bust, not to mention one of the worst movies of Spielberg's career, an all-too-cynical attempt to go back to the well one more time to revive a franchise that should've been left in the deep freeze.”
Shia did get a rebuke from Whoopi Goldberg, who worked with Spielberg on The Color Purple. On the TV talk show The View she responded, “Really, Shia. Really? How come you [don't] just make a phone call to Steven and discuss it. There's no class. If he had an issue with Steven, he needed to call Steven. You don't go public with that. You don't do it with anybody. It's rude. The guy gave you a job. And jobs are hard to come by."