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Olivia Munn on 'Attack of the Show,' 'Perfect Couples,' and 'Iron Man'

by Nick Zaino, posted May 26th 2010 3:03PM
Olivia MunnOlivia Munn seems a little scattered. Having canceled her meetings for the day, she is on her way home on a Friday when she calls in for her interview with TV Squad. She says she's been running on about eight hours sleep for the week when she notices a salamander luxuriating in her pool. "I haven't had time to lay in my pool and the salamander gets to lay in my pool," she says. "That's not cool."

Munn is joking, but barely. She is pushing her schedule to the limit these days, co-hosting 'Attack of the Show' on G4 and shooting the newly picked up NBC sitcom 'Perfect Couples.' She's also getting ready to promote her first book, 'Suck It, Wonder Woman! The Misadventures of a Hollywood Geek,' which will be released in July.

She also has a cameo in 'Iron Man II,' and a few seconds of screen time have turned into rumors that she was The Wasp, The Scarlet Witch or Iron Maiden, rumors that persist even now that the film is out. Pile on a non-stop stream of magazine photo shoots, and you can see why the salamander has more lounging time. Somehow, she still had time to prank an intern with a major crush from our sister site, Asylum.com.

Still, she says she's enjoying every opportunity, and stresses she wants to stay on 'Attack of the Show,' even if 'Perfect Couples' takes off ("I know 'Attack of the Show' made me," she says). She'd just like a little more sleep.

I can imagine you have very little time these days.
I can actually juggle it all, and I'm really excited about it all. Why I was taking so long just now is that I wanted to write an e-mail to some people that are just pushing hard. It's G4. I literally haven't said no to anything. I've done every single thing that they've asked me to do -- I've worn every costume, jumped into a pie, ran an obstacle course in Japan twice -- I have literally done everything, and I still want to do everything for 'AOTS.' It just means that we have to schedule it a little more time efficient.

Do you think 'Attack of the Show' and G4 will take up too much time, that you'll have to wind up leaving to do these other things?
I am completely, one hundred percent willing to work it out if everyone else can work it out. I'm there. I will literally not sleep. I haven't really slept. But that's because [these are things] I love. I'm really excited. But at G4, they're being tough on me. Like if I can't make the read-through, I'll read it in make-up by myself and be there for the live show. But then G4 says, "You know what, if you can't, just don't come to the show."

It really hurts my feelings. I just think, "Really? Wow. I'm willing to do it. I will be there for the live show. I want to be there for the fans and for Kevin [Pereira] and for the crew. I'm willing to do it, guys. I'm here. I'll be ready!" It's just hard. It's really hard to want to be there, know I can still do it, and then someone tells me to stay home. I want the fans to know I'm really trying to make it work, but at the end of the day, it's not my decision.

Olivia Munn in Perfect Couples on NBCIf 'Perfect Couples' takes off, what will your schedule look like?
We're not quite sure yet. But we're shooting at CBS/Bradford, which isn't that far away. There are ways to do it. I want to sit down and have a plan of attack. Personally, I thought of like five different variations of how I could still be on the show. I was talking to Kevin yesterday, and he was like, "I'm willing to make it work, we can change our times, let's make it work."

Have you always wanted to do a sitcom? Has that been a goal?

Yeah, especially ... this show has been a dream come true. The people involved, we just laugh the entire time. I've always wanted to do it.

Is it fun playing an uptight character? From the previews, the character seems like kind of a snob.
She says everything from her heart, and she's very earnest about it. She wants to be beautiful and she wants to be in love, and it's so great. You know those really annoying people who always give you unsolicited advice, and you're like, "But I don't really want to emulate your life, by the way." And she's like [Laughs]," OK, that's funny. OK, where should we go for lunch?"

Were you excited to be in 'Iron Man II?'
Oh yeah. When I saw 'Iron Man,' the first one, I was just blown away. And then I met Jon Favreau when we did Comic-Con in 2008 and I just loved him. I was like, this guy's fantastic. I hadn't seen 'Iron Man' yet, and I was like, this is going to be great. Then I watched it, and it was. We're geeks to the pores. So when they called and said, "Would you like to do a cameo?" I was like, "Uh, yes." I would literally hand out bottles of water on set if that's what they asked me to do.

People were pretty disappointed you weren't The Wasp or The Scarlet Witch. Has there been any talk of that for future franchises?
No. No. And I would like to say that now. When you do a big movie like 'Iron Man,' you have to sign a confidentiality agreement. So I went on for this fun cameo. There's one that's in the movie and there's one that's going to be on the DVD, the first role I did. So there's two different ones, which is fun. When they gave me the cameo, I was super excited. But then I can't talk about it. So then it's literally, let your imagination run wild.

And by the way, what you read online, I don't know if you know this, but it's one hundred percent true. I did not know that, but I realized that the Internet is one hundred percent accurate. If I were the Iron Maiden, there would at least be a picture out of me. It would be announced. So [Favreau and I] just thought, whatever, not that big of a deal. I was like, "Tell everybody who I am," and he's like, "Olivia's Iron Maiden," ha ha ha, wink wink. And then it's everywhere. And IMDb has it as Iron Maiden. And it won't stop.

And then suddenly, me being super excited as a geek to be like, "I have a cameo in 'Iron Man,' it's so exciting!" I, in turn, have to tell everybody how I'm not that awesome and my role is ridiculously small, and it turns into me, you know, cutting. Ugh, guys.

So whose idea was it to prank the intern from Asylum?
Oh, how great was that? The guys from Asylum. They were like, "OK, so there's this guy and he loves you. He went home and changed because he knew you were here, and we were hoping that you could prank him." They were like, "Would you be willing to do that?" And I'm like, "Oh yeah, totally." I'm like, "I got this." None of them knew how I was going to play it. I didn't know what I was going to do until he walked in. It went on for a while. I was happy to go on for a really long time, just for his reaction to be like that.

Olivia Munn in Perfect Couples on NBCHe didn't seem put off by it.
I think that had more to do with shock. He was like, "uhh... uhh..." If somebody's being rude to you, he's trying to be a journalist. He's working in a professional setting. He's a really cool guy, too. Kyle's awesome. We've actually remained friends. He's a cool guy, so he's not going to get all flustered. He's going to be like, "OK, keep your cool even though she's a bitch. She's a complete bitch. Just keep on going. Don't cry! Don't cry!" I could see the look on his face.

And at one point, they don't have it in there, but there's a moment where he really kind of notices it. He starts to crack up. Because there's a moment where he said, "You've got movies, TV, 'Attack of the Show,' what else are you looking to do?" And I said, "Oh, that's all really fun and stuff, and I'm really proud that I get to do that, but really, my real passion is helping the children of Africa." And the fact that I'd been so rude to him the entire time, you could see him go [stifles a laugh].

Even though your book isn't out yet, on Amazon your "frequently bought together with" choice is Max Brooks' 'Zombie Survival Guide.' Do you have any zombie survival tips?

Oh yeah. I have a chapter on how to survive the apocalypse. It's very important. I think that we as Americans are looking at global warming, we're looking at earthquakes and natural disasters, death and terrorists. What's going to happen while we're looking at those things is, zombies will come and there will be an uprising that we aren't even prepared for. So in my book, I listed some of the things you have to be prepared for.

The first thing you should have is lightweight, breathable clothing, tennis shoes and a kitten. A live kitten. And I know that this might sound harsh, especially the fact that I'm doing a campaign with PETA, but in the moment, when you are running for your life and there are zombies, I think the kitten would be like, look, I get it. There's a zombie apocalypse going on. No one expected this. I get that.

One of the rules is to have a kitten with you. So when there's a zombie coming, what you have to do is distract him. You distract him by throwing the kitten. And by the way, the kitten will not get hurt because everybody knows, cats land on their feet. So we'll put that out there right now. So the cat is the distraction, and then you start to run. Hence, the tennis shoes. And also, zombies have limitless energy, so they can go forever. Which is why you need the breathable clothing, so you can go forever without getting sweaty and tired. So it all comes together.

Brooks missed both of those completely in his book.
He did? See, that's how you know somebody truly isn't prepared. I'd like the zombie apocalypse to come, and I'd like TV Squad to be there to document who survives. I'd like it to go down in history. I will survive.

You've mentioned the book is more David Sedaris-style essays -- is it also part memoir?

It is a memoir, it's just a different way to do a memoir. I'm pretty sure I have ADD. I've never been officially diagnosed, but I like things that are easy to digest and quick. And I have OCD, as well. With that, I can get completely immersed into something. So if I'm reading a book, I just cannot stop. I'll be at stop lights reading the book. So it's hard when you feel like you can never get to a stopping point.

What is 'Freeloaders'?
'Freeloaders' is a movie from the Broken Lizard guys. It's based on Adam Duritz's life, from Counting Crows. There are all these guys that live in his mansion in Hollywood, they all just started moving in because no one's there to regulate. They're all living in there, and one day if Adam decides to sell it, they'll have to move out. And I play the lead guy's girlfriend who breaks up with him at the beginning of the movie. It's a really fun role.

Is this sanctioned by the actual Adam Duritz?
Oh yeah. Adam's friend wrote it and he's definitely part of it. And now Adam's a friend of mine. Which is the coolest thing ever, because I love the Counting Crows.

What kinds of roles would you like to play in movies?
I want to play really strong female comedic roles. I want to play roles that show that women can be everything, they can be strong and funny and sexy and outwit the guy and also be affable. I want to do roles where my niece, or my salamander, can one day look back and look up to me. I want to do things where other young girls can look at it and be inspired by it. It might be a lofty goal and I might regret saying it. But I think even if you're in a big, splashy movie, you can still be a good presence and a strong woman in it.

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You have to multi task today.. Olivia even has her own magazine with MYMAG.com

May 27 2010 at 10:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why am I not the least surprised that G4's being jerks about the whole thing?

May 26 2010 at 7:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to RobynM's comment

Is that really being that much of a jerk? I think if they changed the time to make every single other person come in because one person couldn't make it would be more of a jerk move.

That being said, I like Oliva. She seems like a really nice person.

May 28 2010 at 11:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"I'm willing to make it work, we can change our times,"

Hell no. I've been watching AOTS and before that The Screensavers at 7:00 for years now. It's at the perfect time when nothing else is on. Get Olivia the hell off the show before they think about changing the timeslot.

May 26 2010 at 5:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to Anthony's comment

Who is Olivia Munn and why should I care to read about her?

May 26 2010 at 4:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Drex's comment


yes, I know you were trying to be cool. But the "so who is so-and-so" bit just doesn't work in the age of google where you can find out who a celebrity (however minor) is in 10 seconds.

May 27 2010 at 1:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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