April o’neil re­turns to help the Tur­tles move out of The Shad­ows...

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Contents - Words by Joseph McCabe /// Pho­tog­ra­phy by Steve Schofield

The Ninja Tur­tles’ best mate.

There aren’t many ac­tresses whose break­through movie role proved as mem­o­rable as that of Me­gan Fox in Michael Bay’s 2007 Trans­form­ers. As pho­to­genic gear­head Mikaela Banes, the girl­friend of Shia LaBeouf’s klutzy Sam Witwicky, she emerged as a very 21st cen­tury icon of screen sex­u­al­ity. With 2014’s Bay-pro­duced block­buster re­boot of the Teenage Mu­tant Ninja Tur­tles film uni­verse, Fox got the chance to prove she could be more than just eye candy in big-bud­get fran­chises, tak­ing on the cen­tral hu­man role of the half-shell he­roes’ above-ground con­fi­dante and best friend, April O’Neil. Now back for the even big­ger se­quel – di­rected by Re­turn To Echo’s Dave Green and co-star­ring Ar­row’s Stephen Amell as ro­man­tic foil Casey Jones – Fox tells SFX she iden­ti­fies more strongly than ever with the in­trepid re­porter... How does it feel to be back in the Tur­tle-verse?

I had an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence on this one. This one was re­ally easy and fun, and there was a lot of lev­ity on set. I think it’s got a lot of good en­ergy. What made it easy?

They fig­ured out the tone from mak­ing the first one. Be­cause you have the comic book, which was very dark, you have the car­toon, which was made for chil­dren, and then you have the 1990 movie, which was sort of a blend of both, but more car­toony than dark. With the first one they didn’t have a very clear idea of the ex­act tone; and they found it in edit­ing. So go­ing into this one they knew right away what kind of a movie they were gonna make. Stephen Amell has said it’s fun­nier than the first one.

Their at­tempt is to make it fun­nier, and I be­lieve they’ve suc­ceeded. It’s just more light­hearted, and it sort of winks through­out. It makes com­ments about what sort of movie it is, which I think is some­thing we saw in Guardians Of The Galaxy and, in a much more adult way, Dead­pool. Has the world of the first film opened up?

There are a lot of char­ac­ters. To an out­sider it’s al­most an over­load when there’s too many pop­u­lar char­ac­ters; you sort of lose the story. But I think they’ve done a re­ally good job of main­tain­ing the story, and it’s sort of pep­pered with all these vil­lains. It feels a lot big­ger than the first one. How sat­is­fy­ing is it to star in a su­per­hero fran­chise that’s an­chored by a fe­male char­ac­ter?

It’s still a fe­male lead, though in the hands of an en­tirely male [pro­duc­tion team]. All the way up to the top. This is a male-dom­i­nated in­dus­try, so it’s still sort of coloured through the lens of how men view women in life. But I think it’s def­i­nitely mov­ing in a pos­i­tive di­rec­tion, and I think when we have more fe­male film­mak­ers then we’ll have more movies with fe­male leads. But we also need more fe­male writ­ers. Be­cause you need some­one who un­der­stands the psy­chol­ogy of a woman to be able to write a woman well. What was the dy­namic like on set be­tween you and Stephen Amell and Tur­tles vet­eran Will Ar­nett?

I in­ter­act the most with the boys that play the Tur­tles. Be­cause they’re re­ally charm­ing and funny and I have a good time with them. Then Will of course comes in and he’ll drop his one-lin­ers and make every­body laugh. He’s the comedic re­lief, ob­vi­ously. He and Stephen got along re­ally well. They have, like, a bro re­la­tion­ship and they talk about hockey. They’re Cana­dian and all of that stuff. But I in­ter­act mostly with the boys. I have sort of a Wendy and the Lost Boys re­la­tion­ship with them, on cam­era and off. So you’re like their big sis­ter?

Kind of. I’m also the mis­chievous shit-starter too [laughs]. Ju­dith Hoag, the April O’Neil from the 1990 Tur­tles movie, ap­pears in Out Of The Shad­ows. Did you have any scenes with her?

You never know what the edit of the movie’s gonna bring, but I had a cou­ple of scenes with her. She was re­ally gra­cious. Did you ever feel a pres­sure to live up to her por­trayal?

No. I mean there was a dif­fer­ent April through­out those movies. I just try to do the best I can with what they write on those pages. And I felt no pres­sure at all. She was re­ally friendly and I had a great time. How has April grown since we last saw her?

She’s less fo­cused on her ca­reer. The first movie was all about her be­ing am­bi­tious and try­ing to achieve. In this movie, she’s much more re­laxed, hav­ing a good time with these boys, and just sort of go­ing about her own life at her own pace. It’s not such a strug­gle to prove who I am to peo­ple. That was al­most a com­men­tary on how an out­sider would per­ceive me as an ac­tor, what was go­ing on with April – “I want peo­ple to take me se­ri­ously! I don’t want to jump on tram­po­lines any­more [laughs]!”

Teenage Mu­tant Ninja Tur­tles: Out Of The Shad­ows is out now.

“you never know what The edit of The Movie’S gonna bring”

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