I’m getting kinda tired of these “Whoa, Megan Fox Is Funny!” headlines. I was saying this a year ago, based on her performance in Jennifer’s Body. But now with her new movie This Is 40 coming out, people are starting to catch on to the fact that the actress who used to be best known for contorting herself over a car in Transformers actually has a wicked sense of humor. She plays off a combination of her sultry looks and the fact that people won’t expect her to be dry and deadpan. (I hope she never resorts to slapstick, because I just can’t see that working for her.)
You know what I didn’t know? That Leslie Mann is the one who got Megan her job on This Is 40. She tells the L.A. Times that she first suggested Megan to her husband Judd Apatow – also the director — back in 2009 after Megan hosted Saturday Night Live. But it was a conversation with a casting agent at her kids’ school that propelled Leslie to get Megan involved:
“I was so surprised by how funny she was. She has an interesting attitude that’s fun to watch. She’s not actually trying to be funny. She just is. And then I had this little argument with a dad at school. He was an agent or something and he was talking about Megan saying, ‘Those girls are a dime a dozen.’ I got so mad! … I said, ‘You’re a dime a dozen!’ People don’t give her enough credit, just because she’s beautiful.”
It probably also helped that around this time Megan had signed on to Jennifer Westfeldt‘s comedy Friends with Kids, where she plays Adam Scott‘s nubile young love interest. Although it doesn’t look like she has a romantic subplot in This Is 40, Megan serves a similar role: In this loose sequel to Knocked Up, Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Mann) are struggling to make ends meet as they get older. When Debbie suddenly becomes the sole breadwinner, she hires Desi (Fox) to work at her boutique to attract clientele. Hence the funny exchange above, and in the trailer below. Leslie is right—the comedy comes from Megan saying things like “I’m just young” matter-of-factly instead of trying to get laughs.
It’s such a strange pairing, not just because of the age difference but also because we’re used to evaluating these women on two very different levels. But Leslie Mann is not someone who would bullshit you by heaping false praise upon her costar, so I’m gonna take her seriously when she says she’s impressed by Megan Fox’s comedic timing. And when the movie comes out on December 21st, I’ll be eager to see what other one-liners Megan gets.
GIFs: fntboyblue on Tumblr