Actress Olivia Munn tackled Hollywood’s culture of sexual harassment in a live Skype session Monday night after Cosford Cinema’s advance screening of “The Predator.”
At the student Q&A, the “Predator” co-star was questioned about her recent statements regarding Steven Striegel, a registered sex offender who was cast in the movie. Just two months ahead of the movie’s premiere, Munn discovered that Striegel pleaded guilty to two felonies involving a minor in 2010. She alerted 20th Century Fox, and though they didn’t initially return her call, she said, they eventually cut Striegel’s scene.
“The same people keep messing up and keep getting the same opportunities over and over,” Munn said. “The rest of us have to go to the back of the line and work our way up.”
The actress said she’s received the cold shoulder from some of her fellow cast members, but despite the controversy, Munn described “Predator” fans as being “overwhelmingly supportive.”
The Striegel development had little effect on the chemistry of the cast as a whole, though, Munn said. She told students about the tent they all shared in between takes, and how she bonded with her co-star, the “extremely funny” Keegan-Michael Key, who has a “rolodex of Youtube videos” in his head.
The actress also shed light on one of the movie’s most iconic scenes and how she contributed to it.
A reboot of the 1987 sci-fi thriller, Fox’s “The Predator”—which will arrive in theaters Sept. 14—follows a group of ex-soldiers and a scientist, played by Munn, trying to save the human race from highly developed space aliens whose next mission is to destroy Earth and genetically upgrade themselves with Earth’s best DNA.
In the original version of “The Predator,” Munn’s character pulls out a gun in one scene to accost a group of soldiers, but eventually puts it down. Seeking a more “badass” version of the character, she pitched a rewrite to the director—now, the scientist pulls out the gun, fights a little and pulls the trigger, though she discovers there are no bullets.
Munn said she found this scene particularly powerful because it allowed her character to be empowered without detracting from the soldiers’ military expertise.
“No one asks the guy ‘How do you know how to use this gun?'” Munn said. “I didn’t want her to be Lara Croft, but I wanted her to be able to hold her own.”
Munn plays one of the few characters that does not die, but she explained that it wasn’t a big deal to her either way, because her character got the chance to tell her story.
“The only question I have is ‘Does she exist if he doesn’t exist?'” she said. “I’m not interested in telling any stories where the woman is just there to service the man’s story.”