After nearly two decades in Hollywood, Megan Fox is seeing her work—and the treatment she faced—in a starker light.
In a newly published interview with Refinery29, the actress—famous for roles in franchises like Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles—recalled seeing one of her previous movie performances on TV while on location shooting for her upcoming role in Rogue. While the star declined to name the specific film, it had not been met with rave reviews—which made it all the more painful when she watched it back, realizing it wasn't worthy of the criticism she had faced for it.
"I started getting really angry," she told the website. "I was like, F--k that, why did I live for a decade thinking that I was s--t at something when I was actually pretty decent at it? That led to this realization that I'd been in a self-imposed prison for so much of my life."
While she acknowledged that suffering from the "bandwagon of absolute toxicity being spewed at me for years" made her resilient and a better person, she also expressed her frustrations about how she reacted to it back then.
"Why did I let myself get s--t on for something I knew wasn't true? Why did I succumb to that?" she posed to Refinery29. "When you tell someone that they're not good at something or that they're deficient, they can absorb that and it can become their reality, and create a life that reflects that negative s--t that you spoke about them!"
On that topic, Fox issued a cautionary message about the toll words can take. "We have to be careful with our words—they're powerful. That's something I wish most people would understand. We live in a culture where it's a game to be the most hateful to get the most attention. It's not funny," she said. "You're speaking words over real people, who are permeable, who have hearts. Your negativity can influence them. Especially the sensitive ones! I'll call myself one of them. We're the ones who are influenced by your negativity because we're so open. I'm not closed off. Those things affect me really deeply."
Having experienced the darker side of the industry, Fox also offered candid guidance to young women setting foot in the business now. While the star acknowledged there are more vehicles for fame nowadays, her advice is just as applicable to a TikTok star of 2020 as it is to a rising star of the silent film era.
"It's so tricky because I question what is the industry anymore? Everybody with an Instagram page is a celebrity," she began. "Back during the Transformers craze, there were only a handful of actors. Hollywood was small. Now, you go to a GQ Man of the Year party and there's thousands of people there, I don't even know who they are—they're all influencers or have some kind of Instagram following, so now they're famous."
"My advice, which is not great advice because it goes against what everyone else will tell you," she continue," is: you have to be removed to a certain degree. You cannot be on social media all the time, checking your likes and your comments. You have to trust in what you're doing, and in your purpose, and move forward. You cannot be scrolling and go, Oh, people don't like this, or, They don't like this hair color, and then mold yourself to fit what a small group of people who have ever-changing opinions think about you. Don't let that s--t guide you. That's not a north star. That's the devil."