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When Munn learned that Steven Wilder Striegel is a registered sex offender, she contacted Fox and the studio removed his scene from the film. Striegel, who appeared in the film as a jogger who hits on Munn’s character, is a longtime friend of director Shane Black.
Following the revelation, a number of Munn’s castmates have backed out of promotional events for the film. Munn and Jacob Tremblay were the only actors that showed up for The Hollywood Reporter‘s Video Lounge at the Toronto International Film Festival, where the film premiered.
“The public, social media, fans, strangers on the street, all of the news outlets have been extremely supportive and that’s such a gift because it’s not an easy situation to be in,” she said on the talk show. “It happened about 10 years ago, he’s 38 years old and went after a 14-year-old female relative and when I found that out, I did call Fox and I said, ‘We have to delete this scene,’ and they did, thankfully.”
Munn added that she informed her co-stars after learning about Striegel. “I did reach out to my co-stars individually and said, ‘Hey, I want you guys to know I found this out,'” she said. “I found out through an acquaintance who wanted to know if I knew and I didn’t know them well enough to know if they would say something or not, but I figured in that moment they weren’t calling me just to kind of give me the heads-up.”
“It was going to be something that got out there, so I wanted to give my costars a heads-up so that they wouldn’t be blindsided like I was,” she continued. “When I did call my costars, I got chastised the next day by the studio for telling them, and ‘Why am I just not keeping it quiet? It’s all going to be OK. It got deleted. What’s the big deal?’ And I said, ‘Well, it happened.'”
She continued, “When you do movies, we have this reach. It goes everywhere, you know. There’s people in the world that see what we do and just that tiny drop of fame can be used to hurt an impressionable person and that’s not OK and when I spoke out and gave a statement to the LA Times, which they had asked for, they had asked the rest of my cast. I was the only one that did give a statement. I had no idea how bad the details of the case were and what happened to that girl until it came out in the LA Times on Thursday.”
The Los Angeles Times reported that Striegel had exchanged sexually charged emails with the minor. He spent six months in prison as a result of his guilty plea.
“The reality is that the people that collude to keep people like this in positions of power, that’s the real problem. The people who keep turning blind eyes,” she said.
Munn then reflected on the lack of support she’s received for speaking out against the film. “My castmembers, nobody said anything to me about it. Nobody talked to me. Nobody reached out that whole day,” she said. “At first I thought maybe it’s because they just don’t know what to say, they want to stay out of the way. But privately I did feel iced out and I think that’s what’s really important for people to understand is when you see something, you have to say something. However, it’s not going to be easy and there will be people that just get mad at you for not playing the game.”
“I think that people expected me to be quiet because it’s my movie, but the truth is I don’t care,” she said. “I don’t care if this movie gave me all the money in the world and all the power. If it cost one person’s life, they can take it. I don’t want this career.”
Munn later noted that costar Sterling K. Brown tweeted out his support. “I so appreciate that you ‘didn’t leave well enough alone,’ & again, I’m sorry you feel isolated in taking action,” he wrote in a thread of tweets, quoting Munn from her THR interview. Star Boyd Holbrook also commented on the controversy, acknowledging that he was coming in late to the conversation, on Monday.
Watch the full interview above.
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Karlovy Vary International Film Festival