Megan Fox has a Shakespeare quotation tattooed on her body, so she’s clearly not just another pretty face. I wonder if she was channeling the Bard when she interpreted High School Musicalas “a group of boys who are all being molested by the basketball coach.” (Alas, poor Efron, I knew him well.)

After her first star-vehicle, Jennifer’s Body, underperformed at the box-office last weekend, The Los Angeles Times has dedicated 1,300 words to whether Fox’s outrageous sexuality and shotgun candor will ultimately undermine her career. There already seems to be a backlash developing against her, especially among women, so it will be interesting to see viewer reception this weekend when she hosts the season premiere of Saturday Night Live.

Fox understands her own appeal better than anyone: “I didn’t decide I’m going to be an actress cause I want to be respected for how I play chess,” she once told Entertainment Tonight. But she doesn’t seem to grasp — or care — that she’s painting herself into a corner. Though she worships (or at least owes much to) Angelina Jolie, she only seems to be incorporating the most shocking aspects of the Oscar-winner’s persona. Jolie isn’t around 10 years after Girl, Interrupted because she wore a vial of her husband’s blood around her neck. She’s around because she can act. Because she’s brave. Because she likes challenges, on- and off-screen.

Fox doesn’t need to be muzzled. Not at all. It’s part of who she is. But every frank quote comparing directors to Hitler or personal revelation about her sexual obsessions is a double-edged sword, and in the end, her boldness won’t have a fraction as much to do with her ultimate success as her talent and character. The more she showcases her wild side and the more she settles for roles defined by her curves, the more difficult it will become for her to become anything else. Scarlett Johansson and Jessica Biel got the message. I’m not sure Fox is listening.

What’s your impression of Fox’s longterm prospects? Can you imagine her ever accepting an Oscar? Will you be watching this Saturday night?

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Bowen Yang
Saturday Night Live

The original late-night comedy sketch show from the one and only Lorne Michaels.

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