Jennifer Westfeldt, who wrote, directs and stars in the new ensemble comedy Friends with Kids, says that Megan Fox's agent "really campaigned for her" for the part of Mary Jane, a Broadway dancer who enjoys her single, untangled life, and who meets up with a guy (Adam Scott) whose relationship status is complicated, to say the least. Fox is the free spirit in a crowd of coupledom (Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Chris O'Dowd), and she acquits herself quite nicely.

"I  didn't know Megan, and I didn't really know her work," says Westfeldt, in town last week to talk up Friends with Kids. "I only knew the public image, which is not really who she is."

Westfeldt took a meeting with Fox -- who lives in the same neck of Los Angeles woods as Westfeldt and her longtime beau, Hamm – to discuss the film, and the role. "She was funny and smart and sharp and irreverent and sassy and wise-talking," Westfeldt reports. "And I thought, what a great opportunity to show people this other side of her. This funnier, freer, side. And smarter. And more real.

"That was part of it, too: real. She's so beautiful, we don't need to put tons of makeup on her -- which they do in photo shoots. She's gorgeous as she is, let's let her be this natural free spirit, let's let her ad lib, let's ler her be different than she's been. And I think she comes off beautifully in the film."