Lisa Olivia Munn is an American model, actress, comedian, television personality and author. She began her career being credited as Lisa Munn. Since 2006, she has been using the name Olivia Munn personally and professionally.
Olivia Munn was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She 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. When Munn was age two, her mother married her second husband, a member of the United States Air Force. Although the family relocated many times, Munn was predominantly raised in Tokyo, Japan, where the military 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 and where she was a contemporary of Hinder bassist Mike Rodden, future Oklahoma 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, 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 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 on April 10. She replaced 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 appeared 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 cancelled before it completed its first season run.
On June 3, 2010, Munn debuted 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 thirty-two 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 2010, Munn guest-starred in NBC’s Chuck as a CIA agent.
In 2011, Munn appeared in the comedy film I Don’t Know How She Does It as Momo.
In 2012, Munn had a leading role in The Babymakers. She appeared in Magic Mike, directed by Steven Soderbergh. She plays Sloan Sabbith on HBO’s The Newsroom. She also appeared as Angie, Nick’s stripper girlfriend in three episodes of FOX’s New Girl.
Munn has booked modeling campaigns for Nike, Pepsi and Neutrogena. She appeared on the Fall 2006 cover of Foam magazine in September, in Men’s Edge magazine in August, and was featured in a pictorial in Complex in November 2006, where she later became a columnist. In February 2007, she appeared as “Babe of the Month” in a non-nude pictorial in Playboy magazine. She discusses this shoot in her book, Suck it, Wonder Woman.
Munn also appeared in the July/August 2007 issue of Men’s Health. In September 2007, she was featured in the Italian Vanity Fair for their “Hot Young Hollywood” Issue. Munn appeared in the Winter/Spring 2009 issue of Men’s Health Living. She was featured as the cover girl for the July/August 2009 issue of Playboy, and later on the cover of the January 2010 and February 2011 U.S.Maxim. Munn appears on the cover of FHM Magazine’s January 2012 issue. She was voted #2 by readers on Maxim’s list of their 2012 Hot 100.
Munn’s book, Suck It, Wonder Woman: The Misadventures of a Hollywood Geek (ISBN 0-312-59105-5), was released on July 6, 2010. One critic said it offers glimpses into Munn’s life but does not go into depth.
In 2011, Munn teamed up with Dosomething.org’s Green Your School Challenge. She was a spokesperson for the campaign by filming a PSA regarding the challenge, and sat on the panel of judges that evaluated the entries.
Munn helped PETA with a campaign that ultimately freed a sick elephant from a touring circus. Her blog for The Huffington Post was credited with encouraging fans to contact the USDA on the elephant’s behalf.
Munn posed for PETA’s “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” campaign in April 2010, and again in January 2012.
In February 2013, Munn fronted a PETA release of new footage showing cruelty to animals in Chinese fur farms.
Munn was in a relationship with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers from 2014 to 2017.
In November 2017, Munn accused film director Brett Ratner of repeatedly sexually harassing her over a period of several years. Munn was one of six actresses who accused Ratner of harassment and rape in 2017 including Natasha Henstridge, Jaime Ray Newman, Katharine Towne, and others.