By Nina Terrero
Updated April 11, 2014 at 04:00 AM EDT

What could possibly entice Megan Fox to sign up for another effects-heavy production from Michael Bay (her Transformers director, with whom she notoriously feuded)? Let’s just say that martial arts aren’t the only strengths of a certain quartet of mutant turtles named for Renaissance artists and made famous by a 1980s animated series. ”Michelangelo was my first crush,” says Fox, who plays TV-news reporter and Turtles ally April O’Neil in the modern-day reboot. ”I just loved that he didn’t take himself too seriously. He kind of embodied the free spirit that I recognized in myself.” (As for working with Bay again, the actress calls the reunion ”lovely.”)

The Turtles are all CG this time, and Fox’s April swaps her ’80s yellow jumpsuit for a leather jacket and skinny jeans. ”I’m completely clothed for the entire movie,” she adds — a departure for a star known for scantily clad sexpot roles. Her makeover isn’t restricted to her clothes. ”She’s more of a leader instead of just a companion along for the adventure,” she says. And cameraman Vernon Fenwick (Will Arnett) is more wisecracking, less wimpy. Although he played Batman in The LEGO Movie, Arnett admits he felt skittish about shooting ”pretty death-defying” live-action fight scenes: ”I gotta protect the face.”

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

  • Movie
  • PG
  • Steve Barron