Olivia Munn: Brains and beauty

Actress Olivia Munn has really put her journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma to work for her. As Senior Asian Correspondent on The Daily Show and now as economics expert Sloan Sabbith on Aaron Sorkin’s HBO series, The Newsroom, the 32-year-old stunner is amassing an enviable reel, albeit of fake news reporting. But don’t anticipate seeing her on Fox News any time soon. Instead catch the Ocean Drive cover girl getting shirtless with Channing Tatum in Magic Mike and lamenting the fact that she can’t be in two places at once.

Is it tough to handle the Sorkinesque dialogue on “The Newsroom”?

It’s a lot of dialogue and very melodic, and there’s a rhythm to digest and speak back out when you’re doing Sorkin. I’ve been told a few times on the set to slow down. Alex Graves, who directed a lot of The West Wing, directed the second episode where I come in, he said, “That was great; can you just slow down a little bit?” I asked him if he was the first person in the history of Sorkin to be asked to slow down.

Have we moved beyond an age when being the smart girl and being the hot girl are considered mutually exclusive?
I was up for a project recently and [the role] was a person who worked in corporate America, and she had two PhDs, and the feedback was “We think she might look too sexy to work in corporate America.” I wrote this long email to my agent and said “Send this to the director.” In that email I just said, “Why would a woman who is attractive and embraces her sexuality not want to work in a field that uses only her brain?” It’s this weird thing that people think that if you are pretty and smart you’d only want to find a career that uses your looks.

So are you still going to keep your job as a fake correspondent for “The Daily Show”?
I would love to, but the problem with doing The Daily Show in New York and taping Sorkin in L.A. is that they have not created a device allowing me to transport myself. I think Obama and Romney are on the wrong track, what their efforts should be going towards is creating affordable hover boards.

Fake journalism or fake real journalism? Which is more fun?
They’re different kinds of fun. The Daily Show, you rehearse and it’s scripted, but you have to have the timing and the audience to get it. There’s more preparation leading to Sorkin. When I’m doing Sorkin I have to bury myself into it.

Does your Tiger Mom still have complaints about your career as an actress?

Like the classic Tiger Mother that she is, not that long ago this was a crazy idea, and I should be a lawyer. But now she always believed in me. If you go to my stepfather’s office — he’s an optometrist — he’s got my Maxim covers on the wall. At one point there was a life-size cardboard cut-out of me in the office. It’s very unprofessional.

You have to do a brief topless scene in “Magic Mike”; is that the first time you have ever had to bare it all?
When I was at the premiere, and I was watching it, I saw it, and I had forgotten my boobs were out that day. I heard that the movie was tracking well with women but not with men, and I said maybe if the guys knew my breasts were out that would help. But if you have any interest in seeing my breasts you are going to have to sit through a lot of penis.

You’re at the strip club. You’ve got a purse full of twenties. For which one of these guys would you make it rain: Channing Tatum, Joe Manganiello or Matthew McConaughey?
First of all, you started with twenties? You are balling high at the strip club! It’s a tie between Tatum and Matt Bomer. Channing is an unbelievable dancer; even the men are in awe. And Matt Bomer has this face that is perfect.

“Magic Mike, the Musical”:  Are you down?
I think it would be great. The dance routines alone are amazing. It could open up like right next door to The Book of Mormon.


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