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NEW YORK — With those lush lips and moody eyes, Megan Fox is every bit as impossibly, sensually hot in person as you would expect.

Just, please, please, don't call her a bombshell in front of her kids. Fox, who plays intrepid reporter April O'Neil in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot opening Friday, cringes visibly when she thinks about her two toddlers, Noah, almost 2, and Bodhi, 5 months, one day being confronted with images of their mother all sexed up.

"I wanted to be a superhero for my children. They can't really see Transformers, because it's too sexualized for them to deal with their mother. That's their mother bent over the car. We don't need to go there — maybe ever," says Fox, 28, referring to her breakout performance in Michael Bay's 2007 cinematic explosion.

In TMNT, though, she's much more wholesome as a news junkie who figures out that a quartet of reptiles in humanoid form are defending New York City from the evil Foot Clan. She campaigned for the role as a die-hard fan of the Turtles.

Fox got the part. And then nature took its course.

"I got pregnant 10 days into shooting. Total surprise," she says. "I had months left to film this movie. I was exhausted. I was nauseous. I was doing lots of running and I get thrown around. All the tough stuff was left to the other characters."

Whoever moans about carefully choreographed celebrity interviews has never met Fox, who's delightfully candid. She'll tell you that she doesn't drink anything except for sake, but loves going to bars and verbally sparring with guys. To avoid the paparazzi, she and husband Brian Austin Green mostly keep their boys at home — "but they do get out," she laughs. She's "terrified" of Googling herself. And she doesn't mind that people underestimate her intelligence, either.

"It's hard to upset me," says Fox. "In terms of being intelligent, I think that's a stigma that comes with being an actress. Some of the responsibility I carry on my own back, for the types of movies that I do. For agreeing to pose for GQ with cherries in my mouth. I'm hoping that getting older will work in my favor. It's easier for me to take responsibility for it than to blame outside forces."

She goes and calls her second son "indomitable."

Wait, she knows multisyllabic words like that one?

"Yeah. Cannot be defeated," says Fox, giggling.

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So she's fully aware of her arm-candy image, but she's also totally fine with it. Acting, she says, is a job that enables her to give her sons a nice life. And while she says she gets misquoted all the time, she's not inclined to speak up and clarify anything. She's not doing films because it makes her feel cool, or because she was "born to be a thespian," she says, describing herself as the opposite of ambitious.

"Life is too short for me to not have fun at work. I'm not on a campaign for an Oscar. It's not something I'm chasing down or would be validated by. I like doing movies like this because I have fun promoting them and I have fun watching them," she says. "I love this one and I'd like to keep doing stuff like this."

She'll be promoting this one worldwide through December. And then next spring, depending on how the first TMNT performs, she'll start prepping for the second one.

"I don't have an emotional tie to my career or my image or a celebrity. It's a job I do to look after my family. I like it. I'm lucky that I've somehow developed the connections I've had," she says.

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