Fox is considered a sex symbol and frequently appears in men's magazine "Hot" lists. She was listed #18, #16, #2, and #5 on Maxim magazine's yearly Hot 100 list in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 respectively, while FHM readers voted her the "Sexiest Woman in the World" in 2008. She ranked number one on Moviefone's "The 25 Hottest Actors Under 25" in 2008.
In 2004, Fox began dating Brian Austin Green, of Beverly Hills, 90210 fame, after reportedly having met on the set of Hope & Faith. They were involved in an on-again, off-again relationship, before finally marrying in June 2010.
Fox is of Irish, French and Native American ancestry, and was born in Oak Ridge, Tennessee to Darlene Tonachio and Franklin Fox. She was raised Roman Catholic and attended Catholic school for 12 years. Fox's parents divorced when she was young and she and her sister were raised by her mother and her stepfather, Tony Tonachio. She said that the two were "very strict" and that she was not allowed to have a boyfriend or invite friends to her house. She lived with her mother until she made enough money to support herself.
Fox began her training in drama and dance at age five, in Kingston, Tennessee. She attended a dance class at the community center there and was involved in Kingston Elementary School's chorus and the Kingston Clippers swim team. At 10 years of age, after moving to St. Petersburg, Florida, Fox continued her training. When she was 13 years old, Fox began modeling after winning several awards at the 1999 American Modeling and Talent Convention in Hilton Head, South Carolina. At age 17, she tested out of school via correspondence in order to move to Los Angeles.
Fox has spoken extensively of her time in education; that in middle school she was bullied and picked on and she ate lunch in the bathroom to avoid being "pelted with ketchup packets". She said that the problem was not her looks, but that she had "always gotten along better with boys" and that "rubbed some people the wrong way". Fox also said of high school that she was never popular and that "everyone hated me, and I was a total outcast, my friends were always guys, I have a very aggressive personality, and girls didn’t like me for that. I’ve had only one great girlfriend my whole life". In the same interview, she mentions that she hated school and has never been "a big believer in formal education" and that "the education I was getting seemed irrelevant. So, I was sort of checked out on that part of it".
At 16, Fox made her acting debut in the 2001 film Holiday in the Sun, as spoiled heiress Brianna Wallace and rival of Alex Stewart (Ashley Olsen). The film was released Direct-to-DVD on November 20, 2001. The following year, Fox landed the lead main role as Ione Starr on the television series Ocean Ave. The series lasted two seasons, from 2002–2003 and Fox appeared in 122 one-hour-long episodes. Also in 2002, she guest-starred on What I Like About You, appearing in the episode "Like a Virgin (Kinda)". She was an uncredited extra in Bad Boys II in 2003. In 2004, Fox guest-starred on Two and a Half Men in the episode "Camel Filters and Pheromones". In the same year, Fox made her film debut in Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen co-starring opposite Lindsay Lohan, playing the supporting role of Carla Santi, a rival of Lola (Lindsay Lohan). Again in 2004, Fox was cast in regular role on the ABC sitcom Hope & Faith, in which she portrayed Sydney Shanowski, replacing Nicole Paggi in the role. Fox appeared in 36 episodes from seasons 2 to 3, until the show was cancelled in 2006.
In 2007, Fox won the lead female role of Mikaela Banes in the 2007 live-action film Transformers, based on the toy and cartoon saga of the same name. Fox played the love interest of Shia LaBeouf's character Sam Witwicky. Fox was nominated for an MTV Movie Award in the category of "Breakthrough Performance", and was also nominated for three Teen Choice Awards, in the category of "Choice Movie Actress: Action Adventure", "Choice Movie: Breakout Female", and "Choice Movie: Liplock". Fox has signed on for two more Transformers sequels. In June 2007, Fox was cast in a minor role in How to Lose Friends & Alienate People, starring alongside Jeff Bridges, Simon Pegg and Kirsten Dunst. She portrayed Sophie Maes, a love interest of Sydney Young (Simon Pegg). The film premiered on October 3, 2008, but was considered a box-office failure. In 2008, Fox appeared alongside Rumer Willis as the character Lost in Whore. The film centers around a group of young hopeful teenagers who have come to Hollywood in the hopes of an acting career find that the business is harder than they had ever imagined. The film was released October 20, 2008.
Fox reprised her role as Mikaela Banes in the Transformer sequel, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. There was some controversy surrounding Fox's appearance while filming the sequel of Transformers when Michael Bay, the movie's director, ordered the actress to gain 10 pounds. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen premiered on June 8, 2009 in Tokyo, Japan. The movie was released worldwide on June 24, 2009. Fox had her first lead role playing the title character in Jennifer's Body, written by Academy Award-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody. She played Jennifer Check, a mean-girl cheerleader possessed by a demon who begins to feed off the boys in a Minnesota farming town. The film was released on September 18, 2009, and co-stars Amanda Seyfried and Adam Brody.
In April 2009, Fox began filming Jonah Hex, in which she portrayed Leila, a gun-wielding beauty and Jonah Hex's (Josh Brolin) love interest. The film was released on June 18, 2010 and co-starred Will Arnett; Fox has described her role in the film as being a cameo. In early April, 2009 Fox signed on to star as the lead female role in the upcoming 2011 film The Crossing, about a young couple who get caught up in a drug trafficking scheme during their vacation to Mexico. In March 2009, Variety reported that Fox was set to star as the lead role of Aspen Matthews in the film adaption of the comic books Fathom which she will also co-produce with Brian Austin Green. Fathom is currently in pre-production. Fox will not reprise her role as Mikaela Banes in Transformers: The Dark of the Moon. Fox appeared with Dominic Monaghan in the music video for Eminem and Rihanna's single "Love the Way You Lie".
Fox has said during an interview with The Times, on the topic of being a role model that: "It depends on what your idea of a role model is," and continued with, "If your idea of a role model is somebody who’s gonna preach to your kids that sex before marriage is wrong and cursing is wrong and women should be this and be that, then I’m not a role model. But if you want your girls to feel strong and intelligent and be outspoken and fight for what they think is right, then I want to be that type of role model, yeah." Fox said in the same interview, on the topic of being typecast that: "Getting typecast as what? Attractive? How bad is that?" She feels that it isn't a bad thing to be typecast in this way and considers it to be flattering. She also believes that it gives her an advantage because people will not expect her to be more than simply attractive and when she does give a good performance, people will be surprised. Fox has shown interest in portraying a character less sexualized than that of Mikaela Banes, whom she portrays in the Transformers film series.
Fox said of being a popular media topic that, though she is not on the same level as Jennifer Aniston, Britney Spears, or Lindsay Lohan, she does find it difficult and that there have been times when people have avoided being around her because they do not want to end up in the media's spotlight. "I need to behave in a way and handle myself in a way that will cause people to take me seriously," she said, "[and] you can be sexy and be intelligent and be taken seriously, or you can be sexy and you can be out at clubs every night and not be [taken seriously]" but that she has not gone "completely insane". Fox also said of going from being "relatively unknown" to her current celebrity status that: "I definitely feel ill-prepared; I mean, I don't know if anyone ever sits back and goes, 'Now is the moment that I think I should be a famous celebrity,' – but I definitely feel it's premature. I mean, I was in one movie that people have seen."
Fox has appeared on the covers of many magazines. In 2007, she appeared in Maxim; in 2008, the list had grown to include Cosmo Girl, Paw Print, Jack (ITALY), FHM (UK), and GQ. In 2009, the list includes, USA Weekend, Esquire, Empire, Maxim, GQ (UK), Entertainment Weekly and ELLE. Fox was ranked #17 on interview magazines Hollywood faces to watch "Future Stars of Tomorrow", ranked #16 on the Maxim magazine Hot 100 of 2008 list, named #68 in FHM magazine's "100 Sexiest Women in the World 2006" supplement, ranked #18 on the Maxim magazine Hot 100 of 2007 list, she was ranked #1 on Moviefone's 'The 25 Hottest Actors Under 25' in 2008, and was ranked #2 on the Maxim magazine Hot 100 of 2009 list in 2009. FHM readers voted her the "Sexiest Woman in the World" in 2008.
In late July 2009, Fox's overexposure in parts of the media caused several men's websites to boycott her. AOL's man-blog Asylum dubbed August 4, 2009 "A Day Without Megan Fox" with the promise that the site would not mention or feature her on this day; they asked other men's sites to copy this stance, and several (such as AskMen.com, Just a Guy Thing, and Banned in Hollywood) complied. "Listen, we love Megan," Eric Rogell of TheBachelorGuy.com told New York Daily News. "She's responsible for driving more eyeballs to our sites — just by getting photographed walking down the street in a white T-shirt — than any other celeb alive. [But] it's time to give another young actress a shot at the attention." Other sites, however, refused to boycott Fox, with Asylum's sister site Popeater declaring "we're posting things about Megan Fox that aren't even news, just because we know you want it, whether you'll admit it or not" and Coedmagazine calling the boycott a "publicity stunt" and "hypocritical", saying that they were the home of "The Megan Fox Boycott Boycott". The British newspaper The Sun declared August 4 to be "Megan Fox Day", saying that "She deserves a day dedicated to her". In response to the boycott, Fox told magazine Nylon, in a September 2009 interview, that "the media blitz" for Transformers resulted in an over-extension of her welcome in the media. "I was part of a movie that [the studio] wanted to make sure would make $700 million, so they oversaturated the media with their stars," she said. "I don’t want to have people get completely sick of me before I’ve ever even done something legitimate."
On September 11, 2009, an unsigned letter from crew members of Transformers defended Michael Bay against accusations reportedly made by Fox about his on-set behavior, including a comparison with Adolf Hitler. The letter alleges that Fox is unpleasant to work with on set and makes several accusations of ungracious behavior that are at variance with her public persona. Bay defended Fox and has said that he does not "condone" the letter. Anthony Steinhart, a production assistant who worked on Transformers, has also came out in her defense, stating that he had never "...witnessed Ms. Fox being rude or inconsiderate of people’s feelings or the work to be done".
Comparison to Angelina Jolie
Fox has often been compared to actress Angelina Jolie, with the media dubbing her as the "next Angelina Jolie". Fox has been compared to Jolie because they each have a "tattoo collection", and status as a "built in sex-symbol". Fox commented that the comparisons indicate a lack of creativity on the part of the media, and are simply due to the dark hair and tattoos that she and Jolie have, and that both have been in action movies. There were several unconfirmed rumors that Fox was to replace Jolie in the next Lara Croft film. Fox also said of the comparisons that: "I am a brunette with tattoos, I curse and I have made mention of sex before. I joked about it which people find outrageous so they want to constantly compare that to her." Fox remarked, "I'm sure she has no idea who I am. But if I were her, I'd be like, 'Who the fuck is this little bullshit brat who was in Transformers that's going to be the next me?' I don't want to meet her. I'd be embarrassed."
Fox has eight known tattoos, including her husband's name "Brian" on her lower hip, a picture of Marilyn Monroe's face on her right forearm, and a crescent moon overlapping a five-pointed star above her right ankle. This tattoo is the only known colored tattoo that Fox has.
Fox has been involved with actor Brian Austin Green since 2004, having first met on the set of Hope & Faith when she was 18 and he was 30. In 2006, they got engaged; however, they broke off the engagement in February 2009. They were engaged again in June 2010, and just a few weeks later, on June 24, 2010, the two wed in a private ceremony at the Four Seasons Resort on the Big Island of Hawaii. Green appeared in the SNL Digital Short "Megan's Roommate" in the Season 35 premiere episode of Saturday Night Live, which Fox hosted.
In 2009, Fox was targeted by a group of fashion-motivated criminals known as "The Bling Ring", who robbed Green's home because she was living with him.
Fox is good friends with Jennifer Blanc, Kellan Rhude, Jennifer's Body co-star Amanda Seyfried, Michael Biehn and Transformers co-star Shia LaBeouf. She is a fan of comic books, anime, and video games. Fox's favorite artist is Michael Turner whose Fathom comic she describes as a longtime obsession. Fox has two dogs, including a Pomeranian named after Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious. Fox has also openly stated that she supports the legalization of marijuana, saying that she does not consider it a drug and that she would be first in line to buy a pack of joints.
In September 2008, Fox alluded to being bisexual; in an interview with GQ magazine, she said that when she was 18 years old she fell in love with and sought to establish a relationship with a female stripper. She used this experience to illustrate her belief that "all humans are born with the ability to be attracted to both sexes" and additionally showed interest in Olivia Wilde. In May 2009, she confirmed her bisexuality. In the June 2009 issue of ELLE, however, she stated that she somewhat distorted the events of her relationship with the stripper, saying she has given certain male writers "an amped-up version" of her past. "They’re boys; they’re easily toyed with," she said. "I tell stories and have them eating out of my hand. Not all of it is true. In fact, most of it is bullshit." Fox said, "I never said she was my girlfriend! I just said that I loved her, and I did love her. The real story is more sobering. It’s not a sexy, fun-time, fantasy story. But that’s not the story you tell GQ."
Fox has additionally been open about her insecurities, and self-harming. She also acknowledges that she has low self-esteem:
“Yeah. But I don't want to elaborate. I would never call myself a cutter. Girls go through different phases when they're growing up, when they're miserable and do different things, whether it's an eating disorder or they dabble in cutting. I'm really insecure about everything. I see what I look like, but there are things that I like and things that I dislike. My hair is good. The color of my eyes is good, obviously. I'm too short. But overall, I'm not super excited about the whole thing. I never think I'm worthy of anything... I have a sick feeling of being mocked all the time. I have a lot of self-loathing. Self-loathing doesn't keep me from being happy. But that doesn't mean I don't struggle. I am very vulnerable. But I can be aggressive, hurtful, domineering and selfish, too. I'm emotionally unpredictable and all over the place. I'm a control freak.”
Further, Fox has a fear of flying; she said she developed this about the time she turned 20. She has had to come up with ways to deal with it in order to avoid having panic attacks when getting onto a plane, most notably by listening to Britney Spears songs. In addition, she has expressed a distrust of "all boys-slash-men" in general, as well as women in the industry. "I just don’t like them or trust them," stated Fox of her usual feeling toward males. Regarding female friends in Hollywood, she said she does not have many. "I especially don’t trust girls in this industry, because it’s incredibly competitive, and I’m just not interested."