When ABC wanted someone "sassier and edgier" (as series creator Joanna Johnson once put it) to play the tarty teen daughter, Sydney, on Hope & Faith (Fridays at 9 pm/ET), they recast the role prior to the fall 2004 season with Megan Fox, whose credits at the time included Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (with Lindsay Lohan) and an Olsen twins movie. Well, edgy is what they got. Although Fox's recent lad-mag pictorial (and its equally buzzworthy quotes about her beau, Freddie's Brian Austin Green) was deemed off-limits, TVGuide.com agreed to interview the ingenue about her family-friendly TV gig.
TVGuide.com: You've worked with the Olsens and Lindsay Lohan. Really hanging out with the party girls, aren't you?
Megan Fox: Yeah, but we were all a lot younger then, so there really wasn't any partying going on.
TVGuide.com: I imagine it's difficult to be a young and attractive actress living under the scrutiny of today's media and pervasive paparazzi.
Fox: Where I am right now with my career, I don't feel that, but I'm sure girls like Lindsay do. I'm actually kind of glad that I'm not under that kind of scrutiny, because [the tabloids] can give you the feeling of being so exposed to people whom you don't even know. So right now where I am, I'm fine. I'm out of all of that. I still have my private life and no one really bothers me or knows who I am! [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: Sometimes I almost feel bad for Lindsay. Please tell her I said that.
Fox: [Laughs] OK!
TVGuide.com: Years ago, would you ever have imagined you'd be a part of family-friendly ABC fare?
Fox: No, I would not have. I went into the audition not expecting anything. I knew it shot in New York, so I was like, "Oh, I'm not going to do that, I don't want to move, blah-blah-blah...." But it all went very fast and they cast me and the next thing I knew I was living out here. I always thought I'd be doing indie films and things like that.
TVGuide.com: Did you ever meet Nicole Paggi, the girl you replaced as Sydney?
Fox: Yeah, just recently. I was in L.A. at Whiskey Bar with my boyfriend, and I was in the bathroom and she was standing at the mirror doing her lipstick. We both just sort of stared at each other for what seemed like 10 minutes... and then we started laughing hysterically.
TVGuide.com: So the fur didn't fly?
Fox: Oh, no. I had been terrified to run into her, figuring she would hate me, but we started talking and she was really great.
TVGuide.com: Sydney is always trying to pull one over on her parents. What's one of the worst lies you've told in real life?
Fox: Oh, god... um...
TVGuide.com: Look at you, having trouble choosing....
Fox: Yeah, because when I was like 14 or 15, 16 even, I was always sneaking out of the house and ditching school to go to the beach and surf, things like that. So I can't give you one specific answer, but it has something to do with saying I'm home and in bed when I really wasn't.
TVGuide.com: What did you do, slip out the bedroom window and shimmy down the trellis?
Fox: Well, I lived on the second story, so I had this whole scheme where I would call my friends or my boyfriend, whoever was going to break me out and....
TVGuide.com: They'd pull up with a laundry truck?
Fox: No, one of those trucks from Arrested Development with the airplane stairs. [Laughs] Actually, I would leave our ladder from the garage out on the side of the house, and then go up to my room. My friends would pull up with the car lights off, in neutral, and they'd set up the ladder for me to climb down. But one time my mom figured out I wasn't there and put the ladder back in the garage, so I had to ring the doorbell.
TVGuide.com: A ladder is tremendously subtle.
Fox: Yeah, thank you!
TVGuide.com: What have you learned from your TV aunt and mom, Kelly Ripa and Faith Ford? Personally or professionally. Actually, knowing Kelly, I may be afraid to hear what she has taught you!
Fox: Yeah, I'm going to keep most of it private! But they have taught me how important punctuality is, and how you have to keep your reputation as professional as possible, even though, like.... No, I can't say that. Never mind. I'm just going to stick with what I said! Oh, and with all of my relationships being long-distance, Kelly has taught me to deal with that, to think of being here in New York as being "in college" or something like that so I can make it through. Because it's kind of tough sometimes.
TVGuide.com: What else have you got going on?
Fox: With my career?
TVGuide.com: Yes, definitely with your career. [To publicist on phone call] Did you hear that, publicist? With her career.
Publicist: Thank you!
Fox: [Laughs] No, I'm just busy with the show, but I'm hoping to get into some films over the hiatus.
TVGuide.com: Let's finish up with you telling me about your famous shoe collection.
Fox: [Dreamily] Ohhh, my shoes... it's not going to sound that amazing but I have upwards of, I would guess, 30 to 50 pairs of dress shoes, but they're all really amazing. I love Jimmy Choo, and Casadei, and Cavalli.... I've got like 15 pairs at my boyfriend's house, and they're all over the floor, and they're all over the floor at my apartment here and my apartment in L.A. They're all over the place!
TVGuide.com: Have you reached that level of fame yet where designers are gifting you pairs?
Fox: No, I have not, but I eagerly await that. [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: Can you shed light for me on why women spend so much on fancy shoes and then whine about them being uncomfortable to wear?
Fox: I actually don't do that. You have to expect that they're not going to feel great on your feet. If you're going to pay that much money for them, you can't complain!