Megan Fox Explores Earth's Ancient Mysteries in 'Legends of the Lost'
Giants, druids and Vikings join Fox in a new Travel Channel series that could change textbooks forever.
On Tuesday, Dec 4., Travel Channel and Megan Fox are debuting a new series called Legends of the Lost. The show is set to chronicle a global search for answers to some of history’s most ancient mysteries: Who really built Stonehenge? Was Homer more than a Greek J.K. Rowling? Were Viking warriors actually women? And who were the first people to live in North America?
The search for answers took Fox and her film crew across three continents. And to find out what to expect, we sat down with the Hollywood star for a behind-the-scenes Q&A about her new show.
Joe Sills: I think a lot of people are surprised to see you on Travel Channel. You’re producing and starring in this show, and it’s sort of new and exciting. What inspired you to make the show?
Megan Fox: I always really felt the need to understand why I am here and why humans are here. How did we get here? How did we come about all of this amazing information in the ancient past that nobody can explain? In school, none of the textbook explanations were sufficient for me. I’ve had a passion for finding those answers my whole life, but I never knew how to get involved.
I wouldn’t call myself an explorer, but I have had access to places and been given privileged information that I think is wasted on just me. Other people care about these stories, and some of them are so amazing. These legends need to be shared, and that’s really the impetus for the show.
Joe Sills: Okay, so give us an example of a specific place like that?
Megan Fox: I was working in Egypt. During the filming of Transformers II, I was given a private tour of the pyramids by someone in the government who told me things that I’m not sure everyone hears. It was incredible. That was really the first seed that was planted.
Joe Sills: You don’t visit the pyramids this season, but you do visit Troy, which I thought was a lost city. You’re saying they’ve found it?
Megan Fox: Yeah. I think people have finally agreed that Anatolia is the city of Troy. It’s in Turkey, and for a long time there was a big debate about whether it does or doesn’t exist. But archaeologists have cut into the walls there and found a point in time where the city did burn. There were also a lot of battles there, and all of that history is locked into the walls. You can see it.
A new lead archeologist recently took over there, and he believes that Homer’s Iliad is a historical text. He uses the book as an outline or a map when he’s surveying and excavating the site. So, we filmed an episode based on the idea that Homer’s Iliad isn’t a work of ancient fiction, but is a historical text.
Joe Sills: Did you have any challenges accessing a site like that?
Megan Fox: In terms of the political climate, everything was fine. But traveling in general, with a film crew carrying 200 batteries and what felt like 7,000 camera bags was always difficult. Security wants to know, “Why? What is all of this? Why are you bringing this on a plane into our country?”
I’ve never produced a documentary or a non-scripted series before, so most of it is really new to me. I didn’t know what to expect. And I anticipated it would be harder than it actually was. We were working six-day weeks with full, 14-hour days, then jumping on a plane to get to the next place. We had to keep going and going and going until all of a sudden, I see a light at the end of the tunnel and I get to go home and see my kids.
Joe Sills: You’ve got the episode about Troy, and you filmed another episode on Stonehenge. Unlike Anatolia, Stonehenge has a lot of tourists all of the time. How did you work around them?
Megan Fox: We woke up at 2:30 or 3 a.m. and drove into Stonehenge. I think they open at 8 a.m. to the public, but as soon as the sun started breaking the horizon, we started filming. We had drones zooming around, handhelds. We got everything we could before they opened.
The site is pretty compact, so we were able to get everything we needed during that one block. Luckily, there really weren’t that many tourists there when we were.
Joe Sills: Were there any destinations that filming took you to that you never expected to see?
Megan Fox: Hmmm. Yeah. We visit an island called Bozcaada during that episode. It’s incredibly lush and beautiful, and you have to take a boat to get to it. I didn’t know it was there, but it’s actually mentioned in the Iliad, not by name, but by coordinates. So that was really interesting. I never expected to see it because I’d never heard of Bozcaada.
Joe Sills: Stonehenge and Troy are places that most people have heard of, but you’re also taking viewers to Scandinavia. Where did you go there?
Megan Fox: That’s a really exciting topic, because it’s so relevant today with the debate over gender roles and the role of women in our society and culture.
We were in Norway and Sweden, where the story of the Birka Warrior went viral in 2017. A lot of people don’t want to acknowledge that the bones are female. They want to say that they are tampered with, or maybe there are also male bones. It’s a ridiculous fight for people to accept that women fought in battle, too.
Why is that so crazy?
Joe Sills: So, you’re not just ‘playing the hits.’ You’re finding new legends and really shedding light on stories people may not have heard of. Where do you find the legends?
Megan Fox: I work with an amazing production company called Karga Seven. The Viking episode was their idea.
The Americas episode was my own, though, because it happened to be something I was already passionate about—the idea that giants populated North America. The others are combinations of broad topics and things that are going on right now and what they tell us.
Before we make an episode, we have to go in and see what experts are there and who we can talk to, what access do we have to burial mounds or excavations, and see if there’s enough there for a full show.
Joe Sills: Wait. What? Please go back to the thing about giants.
Megan Fox: So, that has to do with the Clovis-First theory, when humans came across the Bering Strait and populated North America. For a long time, the accepted date was 13,500 years ago; but recently, that theory has been shattered, and it goes back to 16,000 or 30,000 or—some people are willing to say—100,000 years ago. It’s all about the process of exploring who was here in North America before we have documentation of it.
If you talk to Native American tribes, many of them have traditions of giants being their kings or shamans. According to those legends, giants were not a race of humans, but a different race entirely. They were vicious and cannibalistic, and because humans were smaller and weaker, they were taken over by these giants.
Some tribes will tell you that beneath these enormous burial mounds across the country, you’ll find the skeletons of giants.
Joe Sills: …
Megan Fox: In the early 20th century, some giant skeletons were recovered on Catalina Island, off the coast of California, and they were found off the coast of Washington as well. The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Boston Globe ran stories about them. Supposedly, the bones went to the Smithsonian, but the Smithsonian denies knowing anything about it.
We didn’t have enough time to cover it all in our episode. People are still uncovering stuff. We’re on the precipice, so that’s something I definitely want to return to.
Joe Sills: Wow. I’m blown away. I’ve never heard this legend before. So, did you find answers out there?
Megan Fox: I found information that validated what I thought to be true. I also found more questions. Some of these places, like Stonehenge, they seem to be boundless mysteries. I walked away a little sad, thinking that I’m not sure if we really will know the answers in my lifetime. The more questions you answer, the more questions you have.
Legends of the Lost premieres Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 8|7c on Travel Channel.