Olivia Munn covers Ocean Drive May/June 2020 and sits down for a chat with the magazine opening up about family and her abusive stepfather, but also about her career and working in a business that can have a powerful influence on changing the attitude of a culture. “I think people downplay just how important it is to be entertaining,” she says. “Especially in this day and age. We need to laugh, we need an escape from what is going on. It’s always been a lifesaver for me.”
The 31-year-old actress says in the interview that, “I would love it, being nomadic, having fun. I also like the idea of opening a smoothie shop in Anguilla where you can rent boogie boards. And if it’s your birthday, you get a free boost in your smoothie.”
Olivia plays a ‘sexually promiscuous, commitment-phobic girlfriend of Channing Tatum’s male stripper’ in Steven Soderbergh’s new movie, ‘Magic Mike’, role that took the actress to Miami. “I thought it might be too overwhelming, all that color, exposed skin, and party atmosphere you get from TV,” she says. “But I instantly loved it. It was much more suburban, a neighborhood feel within a big-city energy, with that friendly mentality. You can party, but if you want to chill, all you have to do is go down the block.”
As Joanna in ‘Magic Mike’, Olivia Munn “portrays an empowered woman who turns the tables on her G-string-wearing boyfriend.” He is the one looking for commitment, while she wants to be free to fool around.
Speaking about playing Joanna, Munn says she was able to use some of her experiences with former boyfriends, a list that includes actors Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake, Matthew Morrison, and pro hockey player Brad Richards. “Like her, I don’t like to be forced into anything, particularly a forced intimacy,” she says. “As Joanna says, ‘Sometimes you’re the girl and I’m the guy.’ I love that she pushes against the stereotype, that she refuses to stay within the box that people, especially other women, want to put her in. Joanna doesn’t shy away from all the parts of herself, including her sexuality. And neither do I.”
Olivia’s stepfather, whom she refers to only as “the Devil,” was abusive, dictatorial, and demeaning. “He would always say, ‘You’re not smart enough, pretty enough, you have no talent,’ and it would knock me down, but it wouldn’t keep me down,” says Munn. “My mom was blunt. ‘Don’t get pregnant.’ ‘Don’t do drugs.’ But she also said just as often, ‘Always make a name for yourself, don’t just become someone’s wife.’ That’s how she influenced me. I work really hard to come up on my own merits.”
The actress recalls that, “When [my stepfather] would be screaming his head off in the living room, I would hustle everybody into my room and launch into imitations of teachers or do scenes from movies. And that would take their minds off of the hell that was happening down the hall.”
Photos courtesy of Ocean Drive