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20 Things You Didn't Know About Olivia Munn

Olivia Munn

Olivia Munn has been facing a lot of controversy after she spoke out against the production team of The Predator when a registered sex offender was cast in the film. Since then, Fox has removed his scene from the film, and varied news has spread throughout the news and social media. The controversy reached a peak when the Los Angeles Times published a report that the sex offender had plead guilty to exchanging sexually charged emails with a minor and had served six months in prison.
But Munn is an amazingly complex woman with many facets to her personality, and though she often calls herself a geek, she is an articulate, intelligent and talented human.

1. Munn told Ellen DeGeneres how she really felt about the controversy.

Munn said that she didn’t really care if the movie gave her all the power and money in the world because it wasn’t worth it to her to keep silent if someone’s life would be ruined. She didn’t know the extent of the sex offender’s crime until the Los Angeles Times published the details. She spent considerable time without anyone talking to her after she spoke out. But she also told The Hollywood Reporter in subsequent days that the person who was hurt most by the controversy was “the Jane Doe” who was hurt by the predator. She said that she simply “didn’t know how to lie about” what she discovered.

2. Munn grew up in Tokyo, but she’s no longer completely fluent in Japanese.

Her stepfather was in the United States Air Force and her family relocated there because he was stationed there. She was just two years old when her mother remarried her stepfather. Munn’s mother’s ancestors are Chinese. Munn’s family escaped Saigon, Vietnam in 1975 and journeyed to the United States to settle in Oklahoma. Her father’s ancestors come from a deeply rooted Southern American family. Munn was born Lisa Olivia Munn in Oklahoma and lived in many locations before Japan, where she became fluent in the Japanese language. But she believes she would need a tutor to help her regain her fluency now, even though she minored in Japanese and dramatic arts at the University of Oklahoma.

3. Munn taught Japanese slang for Vanity Fair along with Keegan-Michael Kay.

Munn’s co-star from The Predator joined her to teach Detroit slang. Munn began with "Yo~Tsu!" It pretty much means, “What’s up?” Kay paired it with “What up doe?” Munn added, “Kanpai!” which means “Cheers!”. Kay said the Detroit version would be “I’ll cheers that!” Munn said that “Ossu?” basically means, “Yo…what’s going on?”

4. Munn was a guest judge on America’s Got Talent.

She gave the Angel City Chorale the Golden Buzzer. The choir represents diversity and their director Sue led them through a stunning rendition of Baba Yetu accompanied by authentic percussion and flawless choral choreography. The choir never left the choral risers, but their African dialect and enthusiasm was wonderful. Munn hit the Golden Buzzer and the choir was flooded with shining golden confetti.

5. Munn says that she renovated her short-statured mother’s kitchen, dining room, and living area to make everything within her reach.

Munn says her mother’s unique cooking measurements are always fond memories. She says her mother’s uniqueness has shaped who she is today. Munn says her family is blunt and sarcastic, telling each other what they think. Her family also jokes a lot, and she says her mother will be herself no matter where she is. Munn believes that is what has made them very close. Her mother taught her how to be strong and how to stand up for herself as well as her family. She is grateful for her mother instilling self-worth, and that her own dreams, though perhaps impossible, were worthy of striving to reach.

6. Munn lost 12 pounds while she was working on X-Men because she started working out daily and changed her diet.

She thought that she was in great physical shape before she began the film, but she started to eat an 80/20 diet. She focused on eating 80% of her foods as fruits and vegetables and 20% of her foods as meats or breads, and “whatever”- as she told Women’s Health in 2016. She’s always eaten organic foods and she attributes that to feeling fit and healthy. She also makes her own almond milk to make organic smoothies every morning.

7. Munn joined Jackie Chan on WIRED to answer martial arts questions from Twitter users.

It was 2017 and Chan explained how certain kinds of wood are used for karate chops. He had Munn use the strength of her shoulders to chop through a piece of wood using the right place to make breaking it easier. He also had her use her head to break the wood. Chan said that its all about the right aim rather than just the use of power. Munn told Chan that she was working with Navy Seals and they told her that within seven feet a knife will win over a gun. Chan agreed and told Munn that if someone came at him with a knife, he would use clothes to protect himself, though knives are always dangerous.

8. Munn learned how to fight with a sword and developed vertigo from her fight scenes.

She said that she enjoyed getting back into Tai Kwon Do and it was fun. She hadn’t realized how much she had missed the discipline until she started again. She had to learn how to work with a sword, so she spent a lot of time at a popular gym in Canada. She studied with a husband and wife team to learn martial arts. She trained 6 to 7 hours each day, lucky to use her free time for the training. Her sword training was extremely repetitive so that she could develop her upper arm strength. She wanted to do her own fight scenes so that her portrayal of Psylocke was powerful. She spent a lot of time being strung up on wires spinning during her sword work and this resulted in her developing a case of vertigo. Her inner ear became imbalanced, but she never threw up on her Psylocke costume.

9. Munn’s definition of beauty is whatever makes a person feel personally happy.

She describes it as being fulfilled with yourself. She also believes that beauty is getting to a place where you feel comfortable with your imperfections. She said that she feels that the quality of her life is also determined by the quality of people who surround her in life. She often reflects on her mixed ethnicity and often takes on modeling shoots feeling that she can be a role model for others who, like her, do not meet typical standards for beauty.

10. Munn was transformed into a 1970s Vogue Girl for an Allure photo shoot.

Creative Director Paul Cavaco explained that Munn would become a stylish model for the photo shoot. He said that Lisa Tailor, a famous model from that era was the inspiration. Tailor was beautiful and refined and the team thought that Munn could channel that kind of 70s style. Munn said that her first look was Gucci and she lounged in black, revealing lingerie. She said it wasn’t the most comfortable thing for her. The photographer recommended that she might think, “Come to my kingdom” and that helped her create a character for the shoot.

11. Munn squeezed into her X-Men costume using K-Y Jelly as lubricant.

She said that the latex costume was so tight that she, and her costume, was slathered with the stuff in order to get dressed for filming. She had two women staff to help her get into the costume. The signature purple and black suit she wore as Psylocke in X-Men Apocalypse was important to her. It took about 10 to 15 fittings to get the latex molding to fit to her body perfectly. When she found out that the latex costume was going to made in black, she immediately realized that her costume must be made with purple. She said that Psylocke must be made with her cartoon style costume in order to be true to the character. The intense outfit had to match the dimension and depth of the character. She sent a letter to the women who was making the latex costume, and the latex was finally painted by the expert who created all the Psylocke dolls. He painted her version of the costume to reflect all the Psylocke figurines throughout the years. He was happy to be painting a life-size version of Psylocke for the first time. She told IGN that playing Psylocke was a cool thing because she loved the character when she read the comics as she was growing up. She was excited to play the villainous character.

12. Munn is a celebrity bookworm.

Munn told that her favorite book is by Ken Grimwood. It’s Replay, and it’s the story of a man who literally replays his life and his decisions he’s made throughout his life over and over. Munn thought that the story taught her a great lesson and that is that it doesn’t matter what kind of life you have lived or what kind of choices you have made because “there will always be great love and great sadness”. Munn stated that ‘You cannot escape those two things.” She’s also identified La Rochefoucauld as her favorite poet.

13. Munn told Ellen Degeneres that she has been obsessed with mushroom hunting.

She developed a hobby mushroom hunting with her dog Frankie, a terrier mix. She doesn’t eat the mushrooms she has found, because she doesn’t like them. She prefers eating mushrooms from cans because that is what she grew up with as a child. Her younger brother John participates in a mushroom hunting blog, so she contacts him for his expertise about whether they are poisonous. Munn takes photos of her mushroom finds rather than eating them. She says that one mushroom organism has been found to stretch from California to Kentucky and it is thought that this is the biggest organism in the world. Because it seems to have come from nothing, some presume that it is a substance originating from outer space, and that fascinates her, too.

14. Munn is dangerously allergic to cats.

When she’s around cats, her whole body becomes covered with hives. She said the amount of hives she gets is horrible, and it bothers her a lot because she really loves animals. However, her reaction to cats is so strong that she cannot stand to be by them at all. She absolutely cannot be around them at any cost.

15. Munn paid for her own hair and makeup to appear in Ocean’s 8.

She told Entertainment Weekly that the producers required her to pay for her “own glam”. She said that she thought she would be able to submit the bills for everything she needed, but the producers told her that they would just be sent “right back” to her anyway. She was excited about the part, and an Entertainment Weekly reporter guessed that she probably wasn’t the only actor required to pay her way but that she was probably the only star who was “humble enough” to be willing to tell everyone she did.

16. Munn suffers from trichotillomania.

Trichotillomania, or TTM, is the scientific name for a persistent and impulsive urge to pull out your own hair. In an interview for, it was reported that she told talk show interview host Jon Stewart that she rips out her eyelashes. Munn’s condition belongs under the range of Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum Disorders. Munn also has anxiety, which she believes is due to her stepfather’s frequent criticism of her and her talent. Additional contributing factors which she described to the New York Daily News included her childhood of frequent moves to new schools; common to military families.

17. Munn went to see a past-lives expert.

She was on Late Night with Seth Meyers and she told him about her experience. She believes in the power of mediums and psychics. She also views the industry with skepticism noting that there are plenty of con artists which exist. She was in Hawaii when a friend encouraged her to visit a skilled past-lives regression expert. She went to see the woman expert who put her through the paces of trying to get information about her past life. Ultimately, Munn realized that she was describing herself to the woman as Maui in the movie Moana to try to help her feel like she was doing a good job.

18. The strangest job Munn ever had was working the drive-through at a Burger King in Tokyo.

She absolutely loved the job. It was her very first job. On her first day at work, she ran into some trouble. Unfortunately, when she was making change for her customers, she started to round up their change to the next even amount. All day long, she told them, “Oh, just keep it.” But, by the end of the day, her drawer was $75 short. Her employers thought she stole the money at first, but then they realized that she was just ignorant. They finally told her that she wasn’t working a garage sale, she was working at Burger King.

19. Munn’s impressive secret talent is that she can beat box.

She told Larry King in a September 2018 interview that she’s able to use her mouth to create some of the distinctive rhythms used by a cappella groups. The beat boxer often serves as the percussionist for the group and has a wide array of percussive mouth sounds. She discovered her talent when she was in 9th grade when her boyfriend taught her the skill.

20. Munn played Rock, Paper, Scissors on the Today Show.

She had told Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb about how she had been a contestant in an international tournament, but she hadn’t won. (She competed in the World Championship Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament in Toronto.) The three women decided to play a round together and Olivia won the game. She’s played the game with other celebrities such as Kevin Pereira (she lost). It’s just one of her many geeky hobbies.

Judy Greenless

Written by Judy Greenless

Judy Greenlees has several published short stories in various genres, is the co-author of a romance novel, Cherished to the Utmost, and selected zombie apocalypse adventures. She has written artist profiles for LA Entertainment News and She was an editor and contributing writer for Her articles have been published on,,,, eHow Brasil, and various Internet websites. Her B.A. in Music History from CSU Fullerton was followed over 20 years later with an MBA from NYIT at the age of 51. She founded a fine arts non-profit educational organization and has been a teacher and professional musician for over 34 years. She currently enjoys writing and living in New England; near her daughter, son and daughter-in-law.

Read more posts by Judy Greenless

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