Megan Fox trudges onto a soundstage on the outskirts of Santa Fe, New Mexico, dressed like a college student: sweats, hiking boots and a puffy jacket, its fur-rimmed hood pulled tight over her head. She would blend in perfectly on campus—the soundstage is inside the theater of a community college—were it not for the words “Patricia Field” scrawled in gold rope along the back of the jacket. And were it not for the fact that Field herself gave Fox the jacket, during the second season of Hope & Faith, the sitcom on which Field served as costume designer and Fox portrayed a sullen, sexy teenager. After the New York–based series was canceled in 2006, the Florida-raised actress hightailed it to Los Angeles, where she has been living ever since. The gold-adorned puffer remains her only winter coat.
Fox is in Santa Fe to film the movie Passion Play, in which she’s one third of an unlikely cast triumvirate alongside Mickey Rourke and Bill Murray. On this Monday, her day off from filming but not from being Megan Fox, she enters the building and quickly disappears into a back room, emerging 45 minutes later in a more recognizable form—tumbling dark locks, painted lips, a low-cut blouse. Quietly, with focus, Fox rolls through a series of shots with a photographer. In person she is diminutive, nearly tomboyish with long, thin limbs, and a small face, yet on the monitors, her delicate features pop as full and exotic. The camera’s affection for her makes things easy: With plenty of images to choose from, the shoot wraps two hours early, and Fox strides back to her dressing room, head down, entirely disinterested in the thousands of dollars’ worth of chiffon and leather and bedazzled duds in her path.
“I feel intimidated by fashion,” Fox says, placing a steaming mug of green tea on a makeshift table and tugging on the loose beige T-shirt she has changed into. “I hate doing photo shoots,” she adds, not so much dismissively as anxiously. Meanwhile, all around her, assistants pack up bag after bag of what will likely be the spring season’s most sought-after pieces, from Lanvin floor skimmers to Giorgio Armani boyfriend blazers. Fox eyes them briefly before kicking a foot up on the table, revealing a silver-studded Bess biker boot. “These are rad. [The crew] just gave them to me,” she says, breaking into one of her only smiles of the day. Contrary to public perception, Fox is not a stiletto girl.
Technically, though, Fox is here to talk fashion, as last fall she signed a reported seven-figure deal to become the face of Emporio Armani underwear and Armani jeans. The black and white ads, shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, will no doubt cause a few taillight scratches when they land on billboards in March, since they reveal what the actress has offered glimpses of over the past few years in her film work and in lad mags: namely, a whole lot of Fox-y flesh.