OLIVIA MUNN - PSYLOCKE
The talented beauty, Olivia Munn, certainly has her chops—crossing over with ease in both dramatic and comedic film genres. With her wonderful wit and stunning Asian-blend looks, Munn has also had a successful career in modeling, though she is only 5-foot 4-inches, and has been one of the favorites within Maxim’s Hot 100 women since 2008. She’s been an on-air TV personality: as a sidelines reporter/interviewer for Fox Sports, hosting G4’s entertainment and technology news series, Attack of the Show, the network’s Formula D (a show about Japanese “drift” racing in the U.S.) and The Daily Nut podcast, and as a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. She’s also authored a book in 2010, “Suck it, Wonder Woman!: The Misadventures of a Hollywood Geek” – a humorous look at geeks, gadgets and Hollywood, wrapped up in Munn’s trademark sexy hilarity.
Interestingly, just a couple of years later, the comic book-style geek landed a role in Jon Favreau’s Iron Man 2—but that was just the beginning. 2016 has been a great year for the girl with the smart and sexy tongue, finding Munn in two big films: Ride Along 2, the action-comedy starring opposite funnyman Kevin Hart, and from the Hangover film series, Ken Jeong.
Then this spring, came the role she was made for: Marvel’s dazzling telepathic Martial Arts Ninja warrior superhero, Psylocke, in the mega-hit film, X-Men: Apocalypse.
Munn sat with us to discuss her new role in the Marvel blockbuster, freely opening up about her true ‘geeky-ness’ as a big fan of the comic book series that she was so elated to portray on the big screen.
STRIPLV: Tell us about your character.
MUNN: I play Psylocke and I’m one of Apocalypse’s Four Horsemen, and my job is to fulfill his plan to end the world.
STRIPLV: And how do you see your position within the X-Men Universe?
MUNN: It was really important to me when I was bringing Psylocke to screen that she have a fight scene, because if we’re introducing Psylocke to the world, there’s no better way to introduce her than with a fight scene, because that is what she’s so known for. She’s one of the most lethal characters in all the X-Men Universe.
STRIPLV: So we hear you’re quite the fan of the X-Men comic books, is that true?
MUNN: I’m a huge X-Men fan. I grew up knowing the comics and loving the world and of course, the movies. So I was really excited that they were bringing in the Apocalypse storyline, and also Psylocke, ‘cause she has always been one of my favorite X-Men characters.
STRIPLV: What do you personally love about your character, Psylocke?
MUNN: You know Psylocke. You know that her storyline is very diverse and layered, and she’s a fascinating character. But simply, she is a telepath, telekinetic mutant. And she has this amazing ability to create anything with her mind, which is something that she uses when she creates her sword with her hands. The thing I’ve always loved about Psylocke is that, unlike a lot of superheroes and even villains where they don’t want to kill but they will if they have to—Psylocke, I think, has always enjoyed it, or has no problem doing it. She can create anything with her mind to stop someone, so she could kill from afar, like Storm or Magneto, but she chooses to create a sword with her hand, so she can kill up close. That’s a very intimate way to kill someone. That’s why Psylocke has always been one of the fiercest superheroes out there, and fiercest in the X-Men Universe—because she is very lethal. She’s an amazing fighter. She’s got Ninja assassination skills, and she’s not afraid to get her hands dirty.
STRIPLV: So you went through some rigorous training for this particular role?
MUNN: I started training. I’d never done sword before, and I started doing all the sword work, and then wire and stunt training, and going and doing Tai Kwan Do, and Karate, and boxing. I spent a lot of time training for the fight scenes. And pushing myself physically to that level was really exciting.
STRIPLV: Where does your character come into play in the movie?
MUNN: Apocalypse is collecting his Four Horseman, myself being one of them. And Apocalypse has a mission, and that is to eradicate the Earth of X-Mutants or non-Mutants. The Four Horseman are Magneto, Angel, Storm and myself. Apocalypse needs the Four Horseman the same way the Four Horseman, you know, were used in the Biblical sense. You know, if Apocalypse is the Godfather, then we’re the Capos. So that’s kind of the easiest way to explain it. He needs us to do his bidding.
STRIPLV: Tell us about the dyamic between Apocalypse and X-Men’s leader, Charles.
MUNN: Charles has the strongest power, which is, you know, he can get into people’s minds. And Apocalypse wants that. It’s very simple. I would want it, as well.
STRIPLV: Tell us about the process of creating your gorgeous costume.
MUNN: When we started doing the costume for Psylocke, we didn’t have much time before shooting. And there was a moment where they said: “We need to get the look right,” which is very important because, when you’re doing these costumes, they have to fit you like a glove, and they have to be a second skin. So it takes a lot of fittings, a lot of practice, a lot of people working hard to make it fit. Now, latex comes in black—like a standard black color. So the option to make her a version of purple of blue was on the backburner. It was like: ‘If we have time.’ And I got on the phone with Bryan and I said: “Bryan, I understand that there’s an element of: ‘Let’s take inspiration from the comics, but also create her in our own way.’” And that’s what they do for all the characters. But specifically for Psylocke, I feel like the way that she looks is so indicative to who she is and so iconic in the X-Men Universe and the people who love that world that, if you’re going to create this character, then you have to give the people what’s in their head.
STRIPLV: What was it like working with Director Bryan Singer?
MUNN: Simon Kinberg is ‘The Man.’ He is so clever and so smart, and he’s such a good guy. Bryan is such a collaborator. He’s so wonderful and he’s a really great storyteller. And he’s always down to make the fans happy, which I truly appreciate.
STRIPLV: This film brought X-Men to a whole new level in the franchise, hasn’t it?
MUNN: This X-Men is the first time we’ve faced an opponent like Apocalypse that is so formidable and has truly the ultimate power. It is an epic movie. It’s an experience unlike any other X-Men that you’ve been part of. As soon as you sit down you’re engulfed in this world, in this story, and you’re left wanting more in the end.