As the legend goes, when Michael Bay first met with Megan Fox about “Transformers”, he didn’t talk to her about the script, discuss her training, or even have her read for the role. He simply asked her to lift up her shirt so he could see her stomach. She did and thus became the fantasy grease monkey every man around the world wanted checking under their hood. But like so many beautiful actresses before her, what would it take for Megan Fox to prosper beyond her current sexy symbol status and become an American icon… ala Marilyn Monroe. Ridiculous? Maybe… but maybe not. Hollywood is littered with gorgeous actresses with amazing bodies. But while anyone can be a flash-in-the-pan, it takes a specific set of circumstances to overcome the trends of time and be remembered as a legend.
Becoming a sex symbol isn’t really that hard. Just ask Farrah Fawcett, Bo Derek, or Pamela Anderson. All of them had their moment in the sun, which they each used to springboard into a profitable mainstream career. (For better or worse.) Yet none of them were ever able to reach the level of Mrs. Monroe. An actress who was not only respected by women and adored by men, but one who literally became the definition of classical beauty.
The creation of the Monroe Mythology encompassed every aspect of Marilyn’s life. Although her early career was based mostly on her looks, it was comedic turns in films like “Gentlemen Prefer Blonds” and “The Seven Year Itch” that helped broaden her general appeal. More specifically, it transformed her into a respected actress and no longer a threat or object for comparison among female audiences. Relationships with Joe DiMaggio and John F. Kennedy furthered her mystique and portray her as an intriguing personality sought-after by the most powerful and beloved men in America. And her mysterious death at the top of her fame prevented her from experiencing the parade of personal and professional missteps that hamper so many great public figures in the twilight of their careers.
However, modern times make the replication of this recipe extremely difficult. For example, Angelina Jolie is considered to be one of the most beautiful and well-respected actresses working in Hollywood today. But it took a lot of crappy movies (Anyone else remember “Cyborg 2″) and dangerous career choices to achieve it. Like Marilyn, her early films were primarily sex-based, but strong female performances in “Girl, Interrupted” and “Gia” garnered her acting respectability. Add a relationship with the sexiest man on earth, Brad Pitt, and you’ve got an icon in the making.
Unfortunately, the tabloid microscope famous people live under these days makes it almost impossible to retain even a limited amount of glamor or mystery. With the constant scrutiny, Angelina Jolie’s public image has gone from a perfect-lipped fantasy girl to a baby-wielding ice queen. Would Marilyn’s immaculate blond hair held on to its shimmer wandering out of Starbucks at six in the morning? Would her drug addiction and bi-polar mood swings have been the lead story on TMZ? It seems like any actress that achieves the heights of success required to become an icon will eventually be chopped down to size by the very people that love them. Unless of course they aim for it from the beginning.
Enter: Megan Fox.
First and foremost, expand your role choices. Look for strong female characters. Crazy works. So does funny. But no more roles with flat stomachs or giant robots. We have to break down that vapid, pretty persona and add some depth. You have to be considered an actress- FIRST. Secondly, when you do eventually push the sexuality again—think strong timeless imagery. Where would Marilyn be today without a steam grate and a white dress? After you’ve rounded out your roles, try and win an Oscar or two.
A girl as attractive as you can pretty much snag any guy you want. But to be considered strong, you need to date someone desired. Brian Austin Green was a nice choice fifteen years ago, but now it’s time to aim higher. Perhaps someone outside of the industry. A rock star (think more Bono and less Tommy Lee). If you really wanna stay on the recipe, try dating another sexy Yankee third basemen. I hear Alex Rodriguez is available. And if you can swing it, an affair with Barak Obama. But if you’re looking for a sure fire bet- go royalty. Prince William.
Do drugs but don’t get fat. Unless you can get skinny again (which shows hard work and character) but you can’t get too skinny because then you’re not enjoying food. Go to children’s hospitals but don’t adopt any kids from foreign countries. And go “Green” but stay out of politics. Just because you stand in front of a camera for a living doesn’t mean we want to hear your thoughts on war, religion, or politics. No matter what you say, you’re going to piss off half of everybody.
ONE LAST THING
Die young. If you want to achieve iconic timeless status, go out at the top of your game. Your movies get better, you posters get hotter and in time people will forget about all the bad stuff you ever did.
Just ask Marilyn Monroe.
Like always, hit me back. Until next time…