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The Newsroom’s Olivia Munn on Fake News and Defending the Killing Finale

Actress Olivia Munn attends the after party for HBO's New Series 'Newsroom' Los Angeles Premiere at Boulevard3 on June 20, 2012 in Hollywood, California.
Photo: Angela Weiss/Getty Images

On Aaron Sorkin’s new HBO drama The Newsroom, Olivia Munn plays serious-minded economist and financial reporter Sloan Sabbith, part of a fictional news team in 2010 covering such recent headlines as the rise of the tea party. On The Daily Show, she is the “Senior Asian Correspondent” who plays “Polish That Turd” and once explored tiger moms. So, different kinds of pressure there. “On The Daily Show I pretend to be a fake news reporter and on The Newsroom I pretend to be a real news reporter,” Munn told Vulture. “The pressure’s immediate with Daily Show,” which shoots in front of a live audience, “because it’s all about getting the right moment, the right timing. It’s exhilarating. With Sorkin, I planned out for eight months of stress.” But the dense, statistics-filled dialogue spoken by Newsroom’s earnest journalists who want to reclaim the fourth estate didn’t pose much of a problem, Munn says, so long as you too shun middle-of-the-road reportage. “If the writing is very good, it’s easy to remember. And the easiest way to remember something is if you believe it.”

We bumped into Munn at the L.A. premiere party for The Newsroom after she had spent a good while chatting up Greg Kinnear, whom she co-starred with in I Don’t Know How She Does It, and Larry David. “I was sitting with Greg and he introduces me to Larry,” she explained in disbelief. “I ended up sitting there talking to Larry and trying to figure out how we were going to go to Color Me Mine. Like, what can I pitch this man to make him my best friend?” Now that she’s worked with Jon Stewart, Sorkin, and Steven Soderbergh (yep, she’s got a role in Magic Mike, too) did she also manage to arrange for a Curb Your Enthusiasm cameo? “I’m very lucky. I keep working with some really great people,” she said. “But seriously, can you make that happen? Ask him about Color Me Mine for me.”

She spent the rest of the night with her date, The Killing actor Joel Kinnaman, and said, for the record, she thought the season finale of AMC’s most divisive drama “did right by the fans.” “We started watching it, and you figure it out in the beginning what happened, but there were still 45 minutes left. I thought, ‘Now I have to spend 45 minutes putting the pieces back together? Alright, let’s just see what happens.’ And then the change happens. I was on the edge of my seat. I just thought it was so brilliant and so wonderful. In the end, [Editor’s note: spoiler alert!] when Mitch put her hand around Terry, because she’s losing her sister too … that killed me.”

Olivia Munn on Fake News and The Killing Finale