Shia LeBeouf says Megan Fox was never comfortable with the way "Transformers" director Michael Bay filmed her and that she had difficulties accepting her newfound sex symbol status following the success of the movie franchise.
Fox's spokespeople had no immediate comment on the report, published in the Los Angeles Times. The 25-year-old actress played the female lead alongside LeBeouf, 24, in the original "Transformers" film in 2007 as well as in its 2009 sequel. In May 2010, she said she would not return for the third movie. Fox's departure followed reports of a dispute between her and Bay.
Fox's role in the movies made her an international sex symbol. She has been ranked high on "sexiest" lists of starlets in magazines and doned lingerie in a sexy Emporio Armani underwear ad earlier this year.
"Megan developed this Spice Girl strength, this woman-empowerment [stuff] that made her feel awkward about her involvement with Michael, who some people think is a very lascivious filmmaker, the way he films women," LaBeouf told the Los Angeles Times recently. "Mike films women in a way that appeals to a 16-year-old sexuality. It's summer. It's Michael's style. And I think [Fox] never got comfortable with it."
"This is a girl who was taken from complete obscurity and placed in a sex-driven role in front of the whole world and told she was the sexiest woman in America," LaBeouf added. "And she had a hard time accepting it. When Mike would ask her to do specific things, there was no time for fluffy talk. We're on the run. And the one thing Mike lacks is tact. There's no time for [LaBeouf assumes a gentle voice] 'I would like you to just arch your back 70 degrees.'"
Victoria's Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley was cast in Fox's place as the new female lead in the third "Transformers" film, "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," which is set for release on July 1.
Huntington-Whitely, LaBeouf said, "comes with this Victoria's Secret background, and she's comfortable with it, so she can get down with Mike's way of working and it makes the whole set vibe very different."
Fox's reported dispute with Bay dates back to at least 2009. She was quoted as telling Wonderland magazine that Bay was like Nazi leader Adolf Hitler on his sets and that he is a "nightmare to work for," adding she still enjoyed his personality "because he's so awkward," according to the Los Angeles Times.
Days after her interview was published, self-proclaimed "Transformers" crew members and writers posted messages on Bay's website, slamming Fox for her comments and calling her "ungracious." The posts were later removed.
Bay responded on his website on Sept. 12, 2009, saying: "I don't condone the crew letter to Megan. And I don't condone Megan's outlandish quotes. But her crazy quips are part of her crazy charm. The fact of the matter I still love working with her, and I know we still get along. I even expect more crazy quotes from her on "Transformers 3.'"
Fox is meanwhile keeping busy with her own movie projects.
She stars in director Jennifer Westfeldt's 2012 comedy, "Friends with Kids," alongside the director's husband Jon Hamm from "Mad Men," Kristen Wiig and Adam Scott. Fox also stars with Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann and Albert Brooks in the Judd Apatow-directed comedy movie "This Is Forty," which is set for release on June 1, 2012.
Huntington-Whiteley recently nabbed the top spot on Maxim magazine's annual Hot 100 list, marking her debut. Fox came in at No. 17. She placed fifth in 2010.