If you have a few minutes today I'd strongly recommend reading this fascinating five-page New York Times Magazine story on Megan Fox called The Self-Manufacture of Megan Fox. I know, you're not really interested in reading another "OMG, she said that!" article on the overly hyped, sexified actress, but this one is a little different. Yes, it touches on just about everything controversial that's crossed her plate -- from her much-publicized spat with Michael Bay to her longterm off-screen relationship with Brian Austin Green -- but it also digs beneath the surface and exposes the way in which she's sort of self-manufactured her own image depending on where she is and who she's speaking to in order to expand her brand, which, she'll admit, isn't the most glamorous or family-friendly, but it's what's keeping her working.

Fox admits that she got herself into the whole Michael Bay mess, and wonders why no one came to her defense when that nasty crew letter surfaced online ("I think it's because I'm a girl. They left me out there to be bludgeoned to death"). Another interesting fact was that they were going to include a Hitler/Michael Bay joke when Fox hosted Saturday Night Live, but dropped it because it wasn't appropriate. Fox explains, "They wanted me to do a Q. and A. with the audience for the opening monologue. And Hitler is in the audience. Hitler stands up and says, 'Why did you compare me to Michael Bay?' " Fox laughed. "Which is funny, but we can't do that."

Watch the actual monologue and read more after the jump.






Reading the article, I get a sense that even Fox doesn't know how or why she is where she is. "I don't know if I'm talented, I don't know what I can do or can't do. I had no skills at all. As a child, I had it in my head that I was supposed to be doing this, and then I did it. But I didn't know what I was doing," she says. Perhaps NYT magazine writer Lynn Hirschberg described Fox best when she said, "She's not warm or particularly friendly and doesn't seem at all interested in small talk. Instead, she's self-contained and a bit wary. She will answer any question, but she resists true dialogue. With Fox, it's not a conversation but a presentation."

That being said, Fox -- who claims Judy Garland and The Wizard of Oz were what inspired her to be an actress -- readily admits that the image she helped manufacture is beginning to head in a direction she's not comfortable with. In her next film, Passion Play, Fox will star opposite Mickey Rourke in Mitch Glazer's directorial debut about a trumpet player wandering the desert who comes across a traveling circus. On her character, Fox says, "I play a winged girl. I have bird wings that sprouted out of my back during puberty. And I'm on display. Guys pay money to look at me, and Mickey and I have a tragic love story." And while she continues to choose roles -- be them big blockubusters or small indies -- that play up her looks and sexuality, Fox claims she doesn't want it to consume her. "I have to pull back a little bit now," Fox said. "I do live in a glass box. And I am on display for men to pay to look at me. And that bothers me. I don't want to live that character."