If you’re here, then you’re probably familiar with a wonderful woman named Olivia Munn. I mean how many women can say that they were one of the icons of gaming culture back in the OG G4 days and got to play Psylocke?
There’s more to her than what she’s done for and in fictional universes though, and that’s what we’re here to talk about. If you think you know her now, wait till you’re done reading all of this!
A Quick Overview
Lisa Olivia Munn (Yes, Lisa, for those asking) was born in Oklahoma City. I suppose that means Oklahoma has a strong case for being among the best states in the country, right? Specifically, her birthdate was July 3, 1980, and her parents were Winston Munn and Kimberly Schmid.
While her mom is of Chinese and Vietnamese descent, her father’s ancestry is English, Irish, and German, which makes our girl here quite the exotic one.
After the Vietnam War, Munn’s mom would seek refuge in the USA in 1975 and would settle in Oklahoma, which is where the couple would meet, and how Olivia would come to be born there.
The Story Begins
Winston and Kimberly had a booming baby girl in July 1980 and would divorce two years after. The latter would remarry and this time it would be to a member of the US Air Force. This decision came with a relocation that saw the family head to Utah and stay there until 1986.
Like me, you probably know that Olivia grew up in Japan and this is where that story unfolds. Her stepfather was transferred to the Yokota Air Base in Japan, and this meant that his family came along with him.
Unfortunately, things weren’t all sunshine and rainbows as Munn has described her stepfather as being pretty verbally abusive. When she was 16, her stepfather and mom would get divorced, which meant a move with the kids back to Oklahoma City.
Who are the kids, you ask? Olivia wasn’t an only child. She has two older sisters, an older brother, and a younger brother.
Munn would go on to attend Putnam City North High School followed by a tenure at the University of Oklahoma. Not only did she manage to get a B.A. in Journalism, but she also came out with a minor in Japanese and dramatic arts.
It was almost like her path was being foreshadowed.
A Beacon of Hope Called Los Angeles
The first notable gig Olivia had was as an NBC Affiliate intern, which she did in Tulsa, Oklahoma. During 2004, she worked as a sideline reporter and a Fox Sports Network intern. It’s an experience she hated since she felt like she was on live TV forcing somebody she wasn’t. I would hate that too.
A move to Los Angeles would come, which is where The Newsroom actress would see her career start to go places.
It started with Scarecrow Gone Wild, which was a horror film that went direct to video. Other notable appearances included National Lampoon’s Strip Poker, and the music video for “Hello Tomorrow” by Zebrahead.
Coming into Her Own
By 2005, Olivia was stealing hearts (possibly including mine) in Beyond the Break as well as appearing in The Road to Canyon Lake.
It was in 2006 and though that many people would say Olivia’s rise to stardom came into full gear. There was a little show called Attack of the Show (ironic name for a show, huh?) that needed a replacement for Kevin Rose, a co-host who was leaving.
A publicly open competition was put on to find a suitable person and I’ll give you one guess who won. Olivia, of course!
Considering how well everything turned out, you’d be surprised to know that the network was a little unsure about Munn. It’s understandable considering the show was all about the video game lifestyle and at this point, it wasn’t her thing. However, her technical knowledge was on point.
Additionally, she would be featured in popular segments such as “In Your Pants,” addressing relationship and sex-based questions from viewers.
She stuck around until 2010, and once she left, Candace Bailey would replace her. Some of the other notable things that happened during this time were her hosting of the Around the Net online podcast and the drift racing program, Formula D.
Munn also starred in Insanitariuum and Big Stan.
Later Career Moves
Olivia had quite a solid 2010 by any standard you can think of. Imagine being in Date Night, Perfect Couples, hosting Microsoft’s Bing-a-thon, and being in Iron Man 2!
This was also the year that she became a correspondent on The Daily Show, for which she appeared in 17 episodes. Her contribution was a tongue-in-cheek segment in which she would mockingly talk about how Chinese mothers have high expectations.
Of course, her own mother being Chinese means this made for good entertainment, especially since she interviewed her mother as a part of the production.
2010 wasn’t done with Olivia yet as she would go on to star as a CIA agent in NBC’s Chuck. By the turn of 2011, she was a part of the I Don’t Know How She Does It Cast.
2012 saw her in The Babymakers with a leading role and she landed Freeloaders minor role. Additionally, she would appear in Magic Mike and a couple of New Girl episodes.
She would gain even more mainstream attention for her work in HBO’s The Newsroom. The drama series saw her play the lead role of Sloan Sabbith, who worked in the fictional universe’s news network and was an economist. The show would run for three years.
Olivia kept busy after this voicing Phoebe Callisto in Miles from Tomorrowland in 2015 and landing the role of Psylocke in X-Men: Apocolypse in 2016. She would also land yet another lead role in Office Christmas Party.
The reign of dominance would continue with another lead role in Six, and she even appeared in the 2018 edition of The Predator. 2020 saw her in a starring role in Love Wedding Repeat on Netflix.
She’s in Print
Our star isn’t only on the big screen as you could also find one adorable picture or the next in campaigns carried out by Neutrogena, Pepsi, and Nike.
She was also on the cover of the 2006 edition of Foam Magazine and in the same year, she was in a Complex pictorial, which would then see her become a columnist.
Imagine being titled “Babe of the Month!” Olivia pulled this off in a 2007 pictorial in Playboy Magazine (and no… it was not nude). In the same year, she was in Men’s Health for the July/August issue and in September, she would get a Vanity Fair feature.
2009 was also a big year for her as she would be Playboy’s cover girl in July/August and she was in the Winter/Spring Men’s Health Living edition.
In 2012, Munn was on FHM magazine’s cover and readers voted her into the number two position for Maxim’s list of Hot 100 women.
What Does Munn’s Personal Life Look Like?
Our Oklahoma girl is more than a talented personality, though. What about away from the screens?
A Big Heart
Munn has done some respectable charity and activism-type work in her time. For example, she formed a 2011 partnership with Dosomething.org for the Green Your School challenge, taking on the role of the spokesperson and recording a PSA. She was even a judge for the competition.
She also assisted in a PETA campaign that led to the freeing of a sick elephant from a circus. In 2010, she was a poser for the “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” Campaign, and she did the same thing in 2012.
You would also have seen her in Save Ralph, a 2021 production that is about animal testing.
Apart from a clear passion for animals, she also has used her star power to advocate against harassment, assaults, and sentiments against the Asian community.
A Partner in John Mulaney and a Baby Boy
Let me get this out there. Olivia’s relationship status is as taken as it gets. In 2021, she began to date John Mulaney, a comedian, who has even featured at least one story about her in his stand-up act.
They had a son, Malcolm Hiệp Mulaney, in November 2021. The middle name is a reference to Olivia’s Vietnamese heritage.
Look No Further Than Instagram to See the Cute Family Sentiments Munn Wrote
In one particular Instagram post, there’s a picture of John holding Malcom, which Munn captioned with a teddy bear emoji. To make it even cuter, Mulaney would go on to post it on his Instagram story with lyrics from “You’re My Best Friend” By Queen.
A Job Well Done
Whether it was a small project with mixed reviews or a leading role, Olivia always smashed it, which is why she’s captivated so many hearts. Of course, it helps that she’s such a dedicated mom and an advocate for some amazing causes. Her mom did an amazing job raising her, and I’m pretty sure Malcolm has a lot of love around him too!