Megan Fox in Diablo Cody’s “Jennifer’s Body” – Comic-Con Report

by | July 24, 2009 at 9:20 PM | The Movies

“Oh, this movie gets so sexy! You better put on your fuckin’ sexy shoes for this one!” – Megan Fox

Jennifer’s Body is being looked at for a few different reasons. For one, it’s the chance for Megan Fox to prove she can carry a movie without giant robots. For two, it’s the chance for Academy Award winner Diablo Cody to prove Juno wasn’t a fluke. For three, sexpot Fox plays a high school chick who becomes some kind of monster who seduces guys and then eats them, and that’s something people are going to want to watch. They screened some footage last night which featured Fox puking black tar all over Amanda Seyfried, and then Fox, Cody, director Karyn Kusama and producer Jason Reitman sat down and answered some questions about their hopes, dreams and homages.

Screenwriter Diablo Cody professed her love for horror movies by admitting that this is the genre she’s passionate for – even saying everything else she’s done was geared towards getting to make scare flicks. “I was simultaneously trying to pay tribute to some of the conventions that we’ve already seen in horror, and yet at the same time, turn them on their ear,” Cody said. “It was truly kind of a postmodern thriller. On one hand, I grew up watching these amazing 80s genre movies like The Lost Boys, and I wanted to honor that. At the same time, I had never really seen this particular sub-genre done with girls, and I tried to do a little of both.”

One normally doesn’t think of horror movies as anything socially important, but Cody has a different view on it. “What’s interesting is that often the last survivor standing in a typical horror film is a woman – you think about Nancy or Jason’s mother or any of the great heroines of horror, if you choose to look at them that way. I think horror has always had kind of a feminist angle to it in a weird way, and at the same time it’s also delightfully exploitative. That’s one of my favorite things about doing a horror movie is that we got to do a little of both.”

Not that her script actually turned out the way she’d initially planned. “The funny thing is when I first sent out to write this, I intended to write something very dark and very brooding, traditional slasher movie, and then I realized about a third of the way into the process that I was incapable of doing that. The humor just kept sneaking in. I have a macabre sense of humor. A lot of the things in the movie that are horrifying are funny to me. I’ve always said that I think comedy films and horror films are similar in the sense that you can actually witness the audience having a physical release. They’re laughing, they’re screaming – it’s not a passive experience.”

When asked if she wants to get behind the camera herself, she was noncommittal. “If I were to direct, I’d want to direct a horror movie. I don’t know if that will ever happen. I need to improve my skill set.”

Fox, for her part, was typically blunt in talking about the departure this movie was for her. “Obviously, there are no robots to distract you from whatever performance I do give, so if it’s terrible, you’re gonna fuckin’ know that it’s really terrible,” she admitted. “That, of course, is intimidating, but the character was so much fun for me. I wasn’t really sure what I was doing, I was just trying to have fun with it. I felt like I was able to make fun of my own image – of how some people might perceive Megan Fox to be. I was just sort of flying freely and I hope some of it worked. What I loved about the movie is it’s unapologetic and how completely inappropriate it is at all times. It’s fun to be able to say the shit that she got to say and get away with it, and have people find it charming.”

Fox also admits she hates horror movies in general. “I don’t ever, ever watch scary movies, because I actually have a very intense fear of the dark. The last horror movie I saw – I think it was called Tooth Fairy and it was out in 2005 or something and I was like 15 years old and I saw it and I slept with my mother for two weeks afterwards. I get really affected by them. So for me, to be able to play something that I would normally be frightened by was really intriguing and interesting.”

[For the record, in 2005, Fox was 19. Just so you know.]

How easy is it to scare Megan Fox? Check this out. “I was doing ADR on it recently, and I didn’t know they’d done more sound design since the last time I’d seen it, and so we were watching the clip that I was going to add a scream to, and I remember the scream that I did on set and I didn’t know they had added more. So when it got to that part, I literally jumped and screamed inside the looping booth. It frightened me and it shook me up for like five minutes. I couldn’t do my ADR because I was like ‘holy shit, that was really scary.’ So it was cool to see myself being able to scare people, because I’m just a little girl. Look at me. I’m so sweet.”

Of course, Fox wasn’t all self-deprecation, especially not when asked about the sexy level of Jennifer’s Body, which is right in her wheelhouse. “Oh, this movie gets so sexy! You better put on your fuckin’ sexy shoes for this one!” she said, tongue half in cheek. “There’s a relationship between my character and Amanda’s character – sort of a hint of a lesbian relationship that happens. There’s a girl-on-girl kiss. It’s an homage to that, but we poke fun at how common that is in horror movies. Beyond that, before every kill, there is a seduction that occurs. These boys have to be seduced into getting close enough to this dead girl for her to devour them. I think I’m pretty sexy in it, I admit.”

Reitman, who claims he is a member of the VHS generation, shared a couple of stories about his childhood with his father, director Ivan Reitman, that contributed to his appreciation of horror movies. “I remember cracking open my father’s laserdisc of Nightmare on Elm Street, and that being one of the coolest movie moments of my childhood,” the junior Reitman said. “I can’t imagine having that experience with any other genre. I can’t imagine dangerously opening up a broad comedy in the middle of the night hoping I wouldn’t get caught. The idea that there’s a kid out there who will be secretly opening a blu-ray of Jennifer’s Body – it’s pretty exciting to all of us.”

Asked about his favorite horror movie, his choice was classic. “I’m a Shining guy. I remember seeing that as a kid and it scaring the living shit out of me and the imagery really staying with me. I remember seeing the original Alien – in fact, my father took me camping when I was a kid and told me Alien as a campfire story! His continued – his alien made it back down to Earth. Later on, I started watching Alien and started realizing I knew exactly where everything was going to go. Honestly, I was young enough to have a moment of ‘oh god, they ripped my father off!’”

Jennifer’s Body will be Kusama’s third film, and she compared the application of violence throughout her burgeoning body of work. “With Girlfight, I think it was important to be authentic to the world of amateur boxing and to the emotional dynamics within the ring,” she said about her breakthrough film. “With Aeon Flux, there were some approaches to violence I was trying to take – I think the finished film didn’t really reflect that entirely. There was a different interest in the way the body moves through space. With this movie, it was really important to know the mechanics of violence as a movie tool. For instance, when Jennifer pukes, it should be black as tar and it should come out big and loud and it should be a shocking moment. Somebody mentioned that the movie feels over the top – it was important to know when to go there and not back down from it feeling like a genre movie while trying to keep it real between the characters.”

What kind of crowd is this flick going for? Near Dark fan Kusama lets us know by telling us her first reaction to it. “When I read the script, the first thing I felt viscerally was ‘man, if I was 17, if I was a younger person right now, this is the movie I would see 10 times in the theater.’ I just feel a pull towards it that speaks to me, and it’s not intellectual. It’s just emotional, and I think the best horror and the best comedies speak to you on this visceral level.”