Is Olivia Munn the new Ryan Seacrest? Her ability to multi-task seems comparable: The Daily Show correspondent is juggling a role on the upcoming NBC sitcom Perfect Couples, a guest spot on the spy series Chuck and a tour for her new book, Suck It, Wonder Woman!: The Misadventures Of A Hollywood Geek.
“I really want to do it all,” she says. “I love it all so much. I don’t have a personal life. I don’t have a boyfriend. And I really like it that way.”
During a phone interview with Crushable on Wednesday night, Olivia got a last-minute spray tan at the Los Angeles salon Portofino in preparation for her book-signing at Comic-Con today.
“I’m going to ‘get dipped,’” she joked, using her special lingo for sunless tanning. “I’m pale but don’t have time to lay out. … I want to preserve my skin.” A Bluetooth device in her ear, she talked to Crushable whilst getting sprayed. “Give me two seconds! I gotta do my face now. Hold on!”
The 30-year-old actress/geek goddess – who began her high-profile niche gig in 2006 as a host on G4′s tech series Attack Of The Show! - is on a roll these days. Seemingly, all the stars are aligning for her career, but there is controversy too. Olivia was the target of a controversial Jezebel post on the Daily Show‘s alleged “Woman Problem” in which the Comedy Central series was taken to task for “hiring someone better known for suggestively putting things in her mouth on a video game show … and being on the covers of Playboy and Maxim than for her comedic chops.”
The post stirred up bloggy debate and resulted in an open letter of solidarity by the Daily Show‘s female employees. The discussion elevated Olivia to a new plane of celebrity on the fem-blogs, if not the outer world. Just two weeks later, the hubbub seems like old news. But the wounds remain fresh.
“Look, I can take a fucking hit,” she said. “But I’m still taking a fucking hit. It hurts.”
She said it’s OK if other women disagree with her past decisions to post for the covers of Playboy and Maxim. But “don’t put down ALL women by saying you can’t do that and be smart and be funny.” She added, “It’s OK to be all that and not have to explain yourself.”
As for Internet commenters piling on to the Olivia hate, she says, “There’s no retaliation. There’s no saying it to someone’s face. … I would challenge them to say it to my face. They would cower.” As for that lightning-rod Jezebel post, she responds, in her candid and freewheeling manner, “Hey bitch, but would you, I don’t know, talk to people I work with?!”
She views Gisele Bundchen as another victim of misdirected female rage. “You can’t live in a world where Tom Brady would want to fuck Gisele and talk to her at the same time,” she observed of the backlash when the All-American football stud began dating the Brazilian supermodel.
Olivia said Daily Show host Jon Stewart helped allay her worries, telling her, “What you do, it’s irrefutable. You’re talented, and everyone knows it. They can see it. … Don’t listen to any one of those people.” A friend of Jon’s recommended Olivia to join the show’s correspondence team; Jon was impressed by Olivia’s comic timing and hosting experience, and she was hired and made her Daily Show debut June 3.
Olivia noted that Tina Fey suggested her for a role in Perfect Couples, a half-hour comedy debuting midseason on NBC. The show is centered on three couples, and creators wrote the part of “Leigh” – a high-maintenance perfectionist with a so-called perfect relatioships – especially for her. And with Chuck, also on NBC, there’s a chance her cameo as a CIA agent could be extended there; she said she enjoys becoming stepping into characters’ shoes and acting for a change, rather than being the emcee.
As for her book, a collection of essays on Olivia’s experiences growing up and trying to make it in Hollywood (she writes about the humiliating moment when a Hollywood director who masturbated in front of her on a movie set), Olivia aimed to reflect her personality on the page: To be bold, up front, tell it like it is. After landing the book deal at last year’s Comic-Con, she sought to speak to “the 13-year-old me who was desperately wanting someone to say how it fucking was.”
“I’ve lived in this ridiculous absolute honesty … Not everyone wants to hear the truth all the time,” she said.
(Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)