Sexy, snarky and geek tolerant we can’t help but love Olivia Munn and her self-endorsed geek-chic sex-appeal. Born in Oklahoma, Lisa Olivia Munn is of Chinese descent on her mother’s side (though her mother was raised in Vietnam) and of German and Irish descent on her father’s side. When Munn was two, her mother re-married, this time to a man in the United States Air Force. Although the family relocated many times, Munn was predominantly raised in Tokyo, Japan, where the military had stationed her stepfather.
During this time, she appeared in a number of local theater productions, and later became a model within the Japanese fashion industry. Her parents divorced and she moved back to Oklahoma, where she attended Putnam City North High School for her junior and senior years where she was a contemporary of future state senator David Holt and author Aaron Goldfarb. She also attended the University of Oklahoma, majoring in journalism and minoring in Japanese and dramatic arts.
Munn moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career in 2004, where she interned at Fox Sports Net and worked as a sideline reporter for college football and women’s basketball. She has gone on to say that she disliked the experience, explaining “I was trying to be something I wasn’t, and that made me really uncomfortable on live TV.”
Soon after her move to Los Angeles, Munn was cast in a small role in the straight to video horror film Scarecrow Gone Wild. She also appeared in rock band Zebrahead’s video for their song “Hello Tomorrow” as the love interest of the lead singer Justin Mauriello.
In late 2005, Munn began her portrayal of Mily Acuna, a teen surfer, over two seasons of the TV drama Beyond the Break on The N network. She enjoys surfing and continues to practice the sport. She originally auditioned for the part of Kai, but the producers wanted a “local girl.” She also appeared in the film The Road to Canyon Lake.
In 2006, Munn moved on to the G4 network, where she began co-hosting Attack of the Show! with Kevin Pereira, replacing departing host Sarah Lane. The network, devoted to the world of video games and the video game lifestyle, was at first hesitant to hire Munn. Although she admits video games were her “weak point,” she was confident in her technical knowledge. On the show, Munn was featured with journalist Anna David in a segment called “In Your Pants,” which deals with sex and relationship questions from viewers. While working on Attack of the Show!, Munn hosted Formula D, a now defunct program about American drift racing, and an online podcast called Around the Net (formerly known as The Daily Nut), for G4. Munn left Attack of the Show! in December 2010 and was replaced by Candace Bailey.
Munn made her film debut in the Rob Schneider movie Big Stan. She played Schneider’s character’s receptionist Maria. Munn also had a significant role in the 2008 horror film Insanitarium, in which she played a nurse at an insane asylum. She had roles in the 2010 movies Date Night and Iron Man
2. Robert Downey, Jr. praised Munn for her improvisation skills and led the crew in a round of applause.
Munn hosted Microsoft’s Bing-a-thon, an advertisement on Hulu for the Microsoft search-engine Bing on June 8, 2009, alongside Jason Sudeikis.
Munn appeared in ABC Family’s Greek, portraying Cappie’s love interest, Lana.
In May 2010, NBC announced that Munn would star in the upcoming television series Perfect Couples. The half-hour romantic comedy premiered at on January 20, 2011.The show was regrettably cancelled before it completed its first season run.
On June 3, 2010, Munn premiered in her new role as a correspondent on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. Her hiring prompted criticism from Irin Carmon of Jezebel, who questioned Munn’s credentials and accused the show’s production of sexism in hiring Munn, whom Carmon characterized as a sex symbol. Carmon saw
Munn’s hiring as a perpetuation of the show production office’s history as a male-dominated atmosphere marginalizing and alienating to women] A group of 32 female Daily Show production staff members condemned Carmon’s piece as inaccurate and misinformed, as did Munn herself in an interview, in which she stated that Carmon’s assertion was an insult both to her and to the rest of the Daily Show staff.
In July 2010 it was announced that Munn would guest-star in NBC’s Chuck as a CIA agent.
The Olivia Munn Gallery