On the Cover: Olivia Munn
When we first meet The Newsroom's Sloan Sabbith, the financial reporter who holds two PhDs and speaks Japanese, played by Olivia Munn, she's discussing the Greek bailout on camera and correcting the TelePrompTer's grammar on the fly. Moments afterward, an executive producer offers her a nightly primetime slot. "There are people more qualified than I am," Sabbith says in disbelief. The producer interrupts: "Yeah, the thing is, they're not going to have your legs."
Those legs, and the 33-year-old Chinese-American actress’s man-bait sexy freckles, high cheekbones and arresting hazel-green eyes, have been a blessing and a curse. And the public response to her reputation as a sexbot-for-geeks comedian has certainly made her curse. She told HollywoodLife.com in 2010 that the standard Munn hater “needs to fucking turn her fucking computer off, take the sandwich out of her mouth and go for a goddamn fucking walk... Just walk it off, bitch.”
We’ll get into the haters later, but right now, the actress in one of golden-age TV’s buzziest shows is looking out over Los Angeles from Soho House’s roof garden with circumspect poise. Her hair’s in a neat bun, bracelets flash on her wrist, and her white linen blouse is buttoned low but ironed crisp—an image befitting an HBO rising star. Still, she’s far from priggish.
During the cover shoot the day before, at a modernist John Lautner fortress high in Beverly Hills, she hiked up the backyard’s steep incline, declaring, “This is my big workout for the day and I’ll feel good about myself, and then everyone who’s actually working out will feel good about themselves.” She acknowledges that she talks too much. Munn’s goofiness is a little startling in contrast to her beauty, but she uses her looks like a muscle, popping her angles for the camera and then softening to mortal proportions over lunch.