Olivia Munn Opens Up About 'Predator' Controversy: "Being Bullied Doesn't Work for Me"

The actress made headlines when she confronted studio execs for casting her in the reboot opposite registered sex offender Steven Wilder Striegel, whose scene was ultimately cut, but she now reveals that some insiders warned her about potential career retaliation.
Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Last October, Olivia Munn received a prize from the United Nations Foundation at its Girl Hero Awards luncheon, and while she joked at the time that she didn’t “even know why” she was selected for the honor, it was obvious. Munn was singled out for her courage in speaking up to 20th Century Fox executives when she found out that she had filmed a scene with a registered sex offender in Shane Black’s Predator installment.

The scene with Steven Wilder Striegel — known to be a longtime friend of the director — was eventually deleted, but Munn did wonder if the situation would affect her career. As far as Fox is concerned, however, she’s not batting an eye. “Fox will get absorbed by Disney so none of us will work with Fox again,” she said during a telephone interview about her new PSA campaign #AdoptPureLove for the Shelter Pet Project. “But when you’re just going through a situation at any time in life — regardless of what you think the consequence might be — if you have a good barometer for what is right, you have to stick to that and let the chips fall where they may.”

Munn, soon back on the small screen on Starz’s spy series The Rook, adds that she was even told her career would be at risk, though she never put much stock in that. “I’m scared of a lot of different things, but being bullied is something that doesn’t work for me. I’m one of those people that doesn’t cower to that. A big reason for that is that the things that are most valuable to me — my family, friends, health, education, self-worth — can’t be taken away. Once you have that, you realize there’s nothing to fear.”

A version of this story first appeared in the Feb. 20 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.