Megan Fox Calls ‘TMNT’s April O’Neil a ‘Modern Woman’

Published 1 year ago by

Megan Fox April Oneil Megan Fox Calls TMNTs April ONeil a Modern Woman

Easily one of the most controversial elements of director Jonathan Liebesman’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot, the casting of Megan Fox as April O’Neil continues to be a source of outrage among fans. Even though Fox was not featured heavily in the recent TMNT teaser trailer and was non-existent in the teaser posters, our own commenters continue to voice disapproval of the casting choice in every new post on the site.

Understandably, all that criticism stems from a disconnect between the hyper-sexualized characters that Fox typically plays and an on-going depiction of April that is both intelligent and family friendly (in spite of a skin-tight yellow jumpsuit). For that reason, fans began to worry that producer Michael Bay intended to turn the beloved Channel 6 news reporter into a pin-up girl – especially after TMNT set photos, of Fox jumping on a trampoline, surfaced online. Nevertheless, Fox has continued to assert that her April isn’t going to Sully the character’s 30-year reputation – recently stating that, in spite of what pre-release audiences think, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle reboot may provide the toughest and smartest version of April yet.

Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Fox discussed how this updated live-action April differs from the cartoon and movie iterations that came before:

“She’s more of a leader when she explores her relationship with the turtles instead of just the human companion that gets dragged along on the adventure. It’s more representative of a modern woman […] There’s no gratuitous skin or sexual anything. Jonathan was really insistent on not wanting her to be sexualized or to take that sort of typical role we’ve seen women take in movies thus far, and that I’ve taken in particular.”

Fox went on to address the controversy surrounding her previous work, which she directly mentions in the prior quote, specifically whether or not she thinks her “sexy” image is a hurdle when playing a “smart” character like April:

“I don’t really mind. It’s actually a large part of my personality. I think you can be that and you can also be intelligent and strong. I don’t think they’re in opposition to one another – at least in my life.”

Check out the full image of Fox in costume below (click for full resolution):

 Megan Fox Calls TMNTs April ONeil a Modern Woman

Despite appearing in mega-successful blockbusters (Transformers) as well as respected indie fare (Friends With Kids), Fox has yet to convince most moviegoers that she’s got the acting talent to balance model looks with believable intelligence within a strong character. Still, Fox’s “modern woman” comment should be encouraging to fans, or anyone hoping to see a quality Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film. The more we learn about the TMNT reboot, the clearer it is that the filmmakers (even Bay) were very intentional about crafting a version of April with believable motivation for encountering the Heroes in a Half Shell – as well as contributing to the team.

We’ve seen various versions of April over the years, and if we’re being honest, a lot of them have sidelined the character as little more than a semi-capable sidekick and, often, more damsel-in-distress than skillful heroine. Additionally, while her character has never been gratuitously sexualized, even her “romance” with Casey Jones is understated, the design of the cartoon character has repeatedly drawn criticism for exaggerated hourglass proportions – hourglass proportions that were fighting to bust out of a skin-tight jumper.

April Oneil Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Original Cartoon Megan Fox Calls TMNTs April ONeil a Modern Woman

As a result, for all the (legitimate) concerns about Fox as an actress, fans who are still fearful the character will suddenly be portrayed as a sexually charged harlot, simply because a specific actress is in the role, are being more dismissive than discerning (while wearing rose-tinted glasses). The worry was valid before official photos of the character, and comments from the cast and crew were available, but it’s pretty clear at this point that the biggest question facing April in the TMNT reboot is whether or not Fox will up her acting game to truly make the character convincing as a “modern woman.”

Given her casting in more than one cartoon-turned-big budget movie adaptations, the actress also commented on which other animated shows she’d like to see adapted for the big screen:

“Gundam Wing, Pacific Rim was sort of a Gundam Wing situation, but they should do it. What about Thundercats? […] “[Sailor Moon] could feasibly be made into a live action movie. I don’t know how many Americans were into that. I was into that, but I don’t know how huge it was here.”

Of course, none of the film’s on Fox’s wish list are in active development but with Jon M. Chu making a Jem and the Holograms adaptation, Sailor Moon or Gundam Wing movies don’t sound all that far-fetched.


MORE: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Trailer Analysis


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will open in theaters on August 8th, 2014.

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for further updates on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as well as future movie, TV, and gaming news.

Sources: Entertainment Weekly

Follow Ben Kendrick on Twitter @benkendrick
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  1. She makes walking and talking look difficult. I was so happy when she “retired” now we have suffer through another movie she will end up ruining, then wait for public outcry then she will retire again… Well hopefully

    • You don’t have to suffer at all. Don’t watch it. For duh!

      • Not watching a new Ninja Turtle movie IS suffering.

      • Nah, actually it is a fact.

  2. she seemed to like anime. awesome and she seems to really like the turtles too. the hate bandwagon just needs to stop now. its not even funny anymore

    • Whether or not anyone thought it was funny at all in the first place is debatable; the real question is whether the criticisms are justified. They are.

  3. It doesn’t matter what she likes or even of shes a fan. She can’t act , that’s not opinion its fact.

    • You don’t know what a fact is. Google is your friend.

  4. I like martial arts movies , iv seen most of them. Huge fan… That doesn’t mean that I can go out there and be a martial artist

    • Lol

    • Yes you can! Believe in your dreams!

  5. So much hate for this movie, and I agree with Corey; just give it a rest already. Some of us are actually looking forward to seeing this flick.

    • on what planet?

  6. Sailor Moon as a film
    make Megan Fox for sailor mars

    Plus thundercats….

    • Hell yeah! its perfect for the role

  7. I wonder if Michael Bay will make Megan do more “bending over” pose. Y’know like, the way she did in TF1 & TF2 .

    Those were the money shot, for me anyways.

  8. i seriously don’t understand the hate towards Megan Fox. she was a terrific actress in Transformers. she was believable. and she’s beautiful. and she is April O’Neil. she’s the perfect choice for April.

    • …..Wow. I don’t know what to say except to enjoy you’re island my friend, enjoy your island.

      • I do think she is “good” in transformers in that she does what is asked of her with the dialogue given, even if horrible.
        She is good though in Jennifers Body

  9. I, personally, don’t think she’s a terrible actress. I do think she was hyper-sexualized in the Transformer’s films, she being a beautiful woman in a movie about awesome cars that turn into gigantic robots and beat the s*** out of each other.
    In Jennifer’s Body… uhh… weak. SHE wasn’t necessarily bad, it was just more of “Oh, Megan Fox is hot, watch this movie” and I was over it by then. Then Jonah Hex was just a smoking pile of s*** wrapped in tin foil and sold as a sandwich. Not sure what the previous sentence means but what I’m saying is that… it wasn’t very good in any way, shape, or form.
    So I’ll give her a chance in TMNT, I just hope it isn’t more “Fox is hot for the sake of being hot.” She’s pretty, but her novelty has worn off, make her a legit character in a film who’s more than just a pretty face and I won’t care who the actress is because I’m wrapped up in the character.

    • Uhh no, Emma Stone is a good actress, a great one who actually is pretty. (Pretty enough) Megan Fox is the polar opposite..

      • Emma Stone is a young, trendy, hot right now actress.

        Mega Fox is like a low brow, old, past it, botoxed 4 Dollar streetwalker no-one wants anymore.

        A bit like the Ninja Turtles franchise really so it was an excellent casting.

  10. I think they should have hired a black woman for the role.

    • That’s an interesting idea, but I don’t like the whole, “Let’s make this character a different race” style. I do like the idea of people saying something like, “Hmm… April O’Neil is strong woman. Let’s put out a casting call for women of all races because her race doesn’t necessarily impact who her character is.”
      However, I do agree that when describing O’Neil’s character I can see a black woman filling in those shoes. I think of Kerry Washington or Gabrielle Union for some reason….

  11. @SilverJaguar – well said, indeed.

  12. Megan Fox is sexy!!!

  13. “There’s no gratuitous skin or sexual anything.”

    One more reason to avoid this film.

  14. I have such a love hate relationship with Mega Fox…I would cut off five fingers to sleep with her but wont pay a dime to see her

    • LMFAO
      For some reason

    • He just keeps getting better and better, doesn’t he!!

  15. At least they should have turned her hair red.

  16. Didn’t want her to be over sexualized? Then why cast her?

  17. Good god!! Thank you so much Michael Bay, for totally ruining another one of my beloved series!

    Now I’m gonna genuinely have nightmares every weekday on what could have been….while I reminisce on the past, trying to forget the future in store with Megan Fox & Mark Wahlberg playing the Shredder.

    I went to see the movie already (in my head), and genuinely feel stupider at a level that’s never been possible. I thank you for making it so everyone’s brain cells just shot down that much more and ruined the rest for la heck of it.

    But it wasn’t enough that you just schlocked Transformers to death, was it bay?

    • Mark Walhberg is not playing Shredder and is not in TMNT at all. William Fitchner is Shredder. Also get a life.

      • Fitchner sucks. I think his point was this movie was a mistake..

  18. megan fox is truly sexy and the most beautifull woman on the planet and micheal bay is great director and producer and he is fan of bot the transfomers,teenage mutant ninja turtles and william ficther is great shredder and i can,t wait to see teenage mutant ninja turtles reboot.

    • gtfo the internet michael bay.

  19. Megan FOx shouldn’t have been cast as April O’neil. Why? Quick, name the 2 actresses that played April in the first movies, without googling the answer. Give up? Me too? You know why? The movies not about April O’neil! And I do not, have not, and will never consider April O’neil a hero, any more than I consider Louis Lane a hero. In other words April = The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle’s Louis Lane. Nobody goes to see the movie for Louis lane, they came to see Superman damnit! April’s only role is to be the pin up girl, (let’s not pretend she’s not, she wore that tight unzipped yellow jumpsuit ecposing her DDs for f*ck sake,) who finds herself in trouble trying to break the next big story, then the Turtles have to save the day. She has zero martial arts training, she’s horrified at the fact that The Turtles exist, but she gets used to them. That’s it. April’s not a hero. The Turtles are. So focus on the damn heroes in a half shell! Don’t make the whole movie be about Megan Fox and her horrible acting!

  20. Itd be one thing if she even attempted to look like April, but she didn’t. Why is it that Bay thought this sh*t would be cool. It’s like, ” Ok, your going to play April Megan, but your only going to look like Megan doing it. So when fans see Megan playing Megan everywhere they should stop when they’re watching my movie and pretend she looks like April. ” Just like Transformers. Destroyed Bumblebee and Megatron’s amazing look (along with many others), hires Megan Fox and a bunch of others who knew not what Transformers was, and then replaces Megan Fox with someone terribly worse ( not even an actress, a model) who somehow has missiles blowing up around her and walks out in a white dress, not just unscathed but still clean. A good director would let fans have some say. Bay’s one of those directors that 20 -30 years from now a director remakes his movies and the the people says, “Finally someone who could figure out what people were looking for.” Bay’s the before guy who ruins sh*t.

  21. What world are they living in that a ‘modern woman’ looks anything like Megan Fox? And I’m not talking about attractiveness. I’m talking about sexual, plastic surgery, anorexia, etc. Dear god, look at her hair. Yeah, I’m sure a ‘modern woman’ on a reporters salary in New York can afford to get her hair done every single day at the best salons.

    Sorry, but they really bombed on this one. Would have been a great movie, but no one is going to get over Megan Fox playing the role of April.