Fox is also considered one of the modern female sex symbols and has appeared in magazines such as Maxim, Rolling Stone and FHM.
Fox was born on May 16, 1986 in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Her parents are Gloria Darlene (Cisson) and Franklin Thomas Fox. Fox's father, a parole officer, and her mother divorced when Fox was three years old. Her mother later remarried, and Fox and her sister were raised by her mother and her stepfather, Tony Tonachio. She was raised "very strictly Pentecostal", but later attended Catholic school for 12 years. Fox's parents divorced when she was young. 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 dance and drama 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, California.
Fox has spoken extensively of her time in education; that in middle school she was bullied; consequently 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 15, 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), which was released direct-to-DVD on November 20, 2001. In the next several years she guest-starred on What I Like About You and Two and a Half Men, as well as being an uncredited extra in Bad Boys II (2003).
In 2004, she made her film debut in Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen co-starring opposite Lindsay Lohan, playing the supporting role of Carla Santini, a rival of Lola (Lohan). Fox was also cast in a regular role on the ABC sitcom Hope & Faith, in which she portrayed Sydney Shanowski, replacing Nicole Paggi. Fox appeared in seasons 2 to 3, until the show was cancelled by ABC in May 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. Fox had signed on for two more Transformers sequels.
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 film's director, ordered the actress to gain 10 pounds. The film was released worldwide on June 24, 2009. Fox was to star in the third installment, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, but was not included because of her statements comparing working under director Bay to working for Hitler (see below). Bay said in June 2009 that Fox was fired on orders of executive producer Steven Spielberg, a claim Spielberg challenged.
In 2009, Fox had her first lead role since the Transformers series; she portrayed the title character in Jennifer's Body, written by Academy Award–winning screenwriter Diablo Cody. In April 2009, she began filming Jonah Hex, in which she portrayed Leila (Tallulah Black), a gun-wielding beauty and Jonah Hex's (Josh Brolin) love interest. The film was released on June 18, 2010. Despite receiving top billing, Fox described her role in the film as being a cameo. Jonah Hex was a critical and commercial failure in the U.S., with its international distribution cancelled after its poor performance. The film was named the "worst picture of the year" by the Houston Film Critics Society.
Fox starred alongside Mickey Rourke in Passion Play. The film's poor reception at the Toronto Film festival led to its conventional theatrical distribution being bypassed for a direct-to-video release, with only two screens briefly showing the film to fulfill contractual obligations. Mickey Rourke remarked that Passion Play was "terrible. Another terrible movie." Fox was the voice of the Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins in the Naya Legend of the Golden Dolphins, a 3D documentary film. The story is told by a cast including Kate Winslet, Ellen Page, Gerard Butler, James Franco, Julian Lennon, Diego Luna, Cheech Marin, Whoopi Goldberg, Isabella Rossellini and Daryl Hannah.
In March 2009, Fox was set to star as the lead role of Aspen Matthews in the film adaptation of the comic book Fathom, which she would also co-produce with Brian Austin Green. Fox appeared with Dominic Monaghan in the music video for Eminem and Rihanna's single "Love the Way You Lie".
In 2012, she appeared briefly in Sacha Baron Cohen's comedy The Dictator and had a featured role in Judd Apatow's comedy This Is 40. She was the voice of Lois Lane in the film Robot Chicken DC Comics Special, an episode of the television comedy series Robot Chicken, and it aired as a one-off special during Cartoon Network's Adult Swim on September 9, 2012.
In January 2013, Fox was featured in a Brazilian television commercial for Brahma beer. In February 2013, Fox set aside her differences with her former director Michael Bay and worked again with him on his reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014). In October 2014, Fox was cast as the female lead in James Franco's film adaptation of Zeroville. In 2015, Fox was cast in the role of Amelia Delthanis in the Plarium video game, Stormfall: Rise of Balur. In October 2015, it was confirmed that Fox would be temporarily replacing Zooey Deschanel in the television show New Girl following Deschanel's maternity leave. Fox reprised the role of April O'Neil in the 2016 film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.
Fox began dating actor Brian Austin Green in 2004, after meeting on the set of Hope & Faith; she was 18 years old, while he was 30. They became engaged in November 2006. In February 2009, they had ended their engagement. Later that year, 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 and Green were reported to have become engaged again on June 1, 2010, but Fox stated that she and Green had been continuously engaged since 2006.
Fox and Green married on June 24, 2010 in a private ceremony at the Four Seasons Resort on Maui. Fox filed for divorce on August 21, 2015, a few days after she and Green announced their separation. By early 2016, two were back together and expecting a third child.
Fox and Green have three sons: Noah Shannon Green (born September 27, 2012), Bodhi Ransom Green (born February 12, 2014) and another born in 2016. Through her marriage, Fox is also a stepmother to Green's son.
Fox has said that she has a general distrust and dislike of men, and that the perception of her as a "wild and crazy sexpot" is false because she is antisocial and has only been sexually intimate with her "childhood sweetheart" and Brian Austin Green; she stated that she would rather stay at home and play games instead of going out, and emphasized that she cannot have sex with someone she does not love. "My biggest regret is that I've assisted the media in making me into a cartoon character. I don't regret what has happened to me, but I regret the way I have dealt with it," she said.
Fox is bisexual, and said she believes that "all humans are born with the ability to be attracted to both sexes". She also stated, "I have no question in my mind about being bisexual. But I'm also a hypocrite: I would never date a girl who was bisexual, because that means they also sleep with men, and men are so dirty that I'd never want to sleep with a girl who had slept with a man."
Fox has a form of brachydactyly called clubbed thumb, and has discussed her obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), insecurities, self-harming, and has acknowledged that she has low self-esteem. She stated of her OCD, "This is a sickness, I have an illness—this is not OK anymore." She told Esquire in January 2013 that her Christian faith is still very important to her; she believes it keeps her grounded. She said that she still speaks in tongues, having done so since she was eight years old.
Of the effects of media exposure, being a role model and typecast, Fox stated that she finds media attention difficult, and there have been times when people avoided being around her because they do not want to end up in the media's spotlight. She said she is not a role model for preaching to kids that sex before marriage or cursing is wrong, or about what women should be. "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." She said being typecast as attractive is not bad and that it can enable her to surprise people when she gives a good performance in a film, but that she is interested in portraying less sexualized characters.
Fox's overexposure in the media caused several men's websites to boycott her in late 2009, with AOL's man-blog Asylum dubbing August 4, 2009 "A Day Without Megan Fox" and promising that they would not mention or feature her on this day; they asked other men's sites to copy this stance, and several, including AskMen, complied. There was sentiment that despite the amount of traffic Fox can bring to a website, it was time to focus attention on another young actress. 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 COED magazine 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."
By 2010, Fox became much less prominent in the media, after starring in the less commercially successful films Jonah Hex and Passion Play. Dan Clarendon of Wetpaint stated that it felt like it had "been years since we've heard about [Megan Fox]"; however, her first pregnancy and additional projects such as her role in Friends with Kids brought her some attention in 2012.
Chris Lee of the Los Angeles Times called Fox a "sex symbol of the highest order" and added that she is "a woman whose hotness has become emblematic of a specific era. Call Megan Fox the first bona fide sex symbol of the 21st century." Some of Fox's various magazine covers include Maxim in 2007; Cosmo Girl, Paw Print, Jack (ITALY), FHM (UK), and GQ in 2008; and USA Weekend, Esquire, Empire, Maxim, GQ (UK), Entertainment Weekly and ELLE in 2009. She has been featured on "hottest" and "most beautiful woman" lists throughout the years, notably Maxim's Hot 100 lists and when FHM readers voted her the "Sexiest Woman in the World" in 2008. People named her one of 2012's Most Beautiful at Every Age.
Fox's public image came under scrutiny when, on September 11, 2009, an unsigned letter from three crew members of Transformers defended Michael Bay against accusations made by Fox about his on-set behavior, including a comparison with Hitler. In response to the letter alleging that Fox's on-set behavior is unpleasant and contrasts her public persona, Bay stated he does not condone the letter, and said that while he also does not condone Fox's "outlandish quotes", it is "her crazy quips" that "are part of her crazy charm. The fact of the matter [is] I still love working with her, and I know we still get along." A production assistant who worked on Transformers also came out in Fox's defense, stating that he had never "witnessed Ms. Fox being rude or inconsiderate of people's feelings or the work to be done." Fox later stated that she had privately spoken with the parties involved, was "very fortunate" to be a part of the franchise, and was looking forward to continuing her work.
The media often comparing Fox to actress Angelina Jolie, dubbing her the "next Angelina Jolie", also affected Fox's image. The actresses have been compared partly because they each have a "tattoo collection", status as a "built in sex-symbol" and "share exotic, sultry looks". There were additionally reports that Fox was to replace Jolie in a new Lara Croft film and that Jolie was displeased by this development, but Fox indicated that these were only rumors and said that she did not want to portray the character. Fox commented that the comparisons indicate a lack of creativity on the part of the media, adding, "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." Lee stated that Jolie and Fox are partly differentiated because of Jolie's "pronouncements on such subjects as the need to ban land mines in Southeast Asia or repatriate Afghan war refugees", while Zach Johnson of E! Online stated that, given various similarities between Jolie and Fox, the two may be more alike than Fox is willing to acknowledge.
Fox began getting tattoos at age 19, as a form of self-expression, and 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, which she got removed in a series of laser surgeries that she has called incredibly painful, and a crescent moon overlapping a five-pointed star above her right ankle; this tattoo is the only known colored tattoo that Fox has. Of getting the Monroe tattoo removed, Fox said that she had been warned by others that there would be a day when she did not want her tattoos once she got older. "I was stubborn and thought that I was going to love [the Monroe tattoo] forever, or that it would be like a book of my life, all the things that I loved when I was young. It's not that way at all." She removed her Monroe tattoo because she felt that Monroe was a negative person and she did not "want to attract this kind of negative energy in [her] life."