July 6, 2009 -- She stars in one of the summer's most successful movies, but Megan Fox hardly seems grateful.
The "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" actress is waging a war of words with the movie's director, Michael Bay. After she told Entertainment Weekly that "working with Michael Bay is not about an acting experience," he fired back at the 23-year-old sex symbol.
"She says some very ridiculous things because she's 23-years-old and she still has a lot of growing to do," Bay told The Wall Street Journal, before going on to list the names of some of the actors whose careers he helped launch, including Ben Affleck, Will Smith and Nicolas Cage.
"Nobody in the world knew about Megan Fox until I found her and put her in 'Transformers,'" he said. "I like to think that I've had some luck in building actors' careers with my films."
Indeed, it's odd that Fox would put down the man who made her a household name by casting her in the first "Transformers" installment. But she has made a habit of making outlandish statements.
"She's the No. 1 sought-after actress under 30, so the paps following of her is hard to avoid," said Maxine Page, West Coast editor of Life and Style Weekly magazine. "But she also loves the attention and says outrageous things so people are going to be interested in her."
Within the past few weeks, the bisexual Fox announced she is "single" after a second split from now ex-fiance Brian Austin Green and said that she now has her heart set on a Korean pop star, whom she called the "Korean Justin Timberlake named Rain," according to the English tabloid The Sun. She also managed to address the issue of the topless photos of her recently leaked online by saying she knows who was responsible but karma negates the need to sue.
These aren't the first bits of controversy she has faced on her quick rise to fame.
Though born in Tennessee, Fox angered much of Middle America when she labeled them "Bible beaters," and she left women's rights groups exasperated with her proclamation that women should feel empowered when treated as sex symbols.
And while her smoldering looks and sex appeal vaulted her to the No. 2 spot on this year's Maxim Hot 100 list, her physical appearance has also drawn news attention in the weird category. Word that she has a genetic condition called "clubbed thumb" that left her thumb particularly short with a bulbous tip dominated tabloid headlines last month.
It's an intense media storm for Fox who, before landing the part of Mikaela Barnes in 2007's "Transformers," was a total unknown. And predictably for someone who rose so far so fast, some are already calling the Fox phenomenon overblown.
"I don't think much of Megan Fox," said Paula Froelich of the New York Post's Page Six and author of "Mercury in Retrograde." "She's another pretty face -- a downmarket Angelina Jolie -- who is prized for her physicality more than her acting ability."
Megan Fox's 'Transformers' Co-Star Shia LaBeouf
Once again acting opposite the heavily tattooed Fox in the second movie installment of the "Transformers" franchise is Shia LaBeouf, who is no stranger to tabloid headlines. Also 23, LaBeouf was suspended from driving last year after refusing to take a police Breathalyzer test after a smash in his F-150 pickup truck in Los Angeles.
LaBeouf recently revealed that the sexiest woman he knows is his mother and followed that up by telling Parade magazine that growing up he watched his parents have sex and is now an alcoholic.
Certainly the two combustible performers know how to stop the presses and, according to Life and Style's Maxine Page, it may be an unconscious battle for attention with an added twist of romance.
"What he said about his mother was creepy, and it's almost like they [Fox and LaBeouf] are trying to outdo each other," Page told ABC News. "The rumors are that they're having an affair, as Fox was seen leaving his place early one morning."
Whether the two are actually a pair, only they can say.
Despite, or perhaps because of, the media firestrom that quickly follows the duo, the movie -- which opened June 24 -- is expected to be one of the highest grossing of the summer (it's already taken in $293.5 million domestically in 12 days) due in no small part to the reputation of the co-stars.
"Although Megan Fox comes across as salacious and naughty, she seems to be avoiding all the young Hollywood drama of drink and nightclubs," said Alexa Dedlow, a consultant at Interscope Records TV and film division. "She's a somewhat promising actress, though she hasn't been in anything too challenging as of yet, but LaBeouf I think is absolutely fantastic."
"He's gotten into drama but he's refreshingly honest, and descriptions of him as the next Tom Hanks are not at all far-fetched," Dedlow said.
Starring in a slew of films slated for release over the next two years, Fox has the opportunity to follow LaBeouf and become better known for her acting than she is for her magazine shoots. A look at down at her right forearm will provide both the perfect inspiration and the perfect warning of celebrity: It's a tattoo of Marilyn Monroe.