May 24, 2013 at 04:00 AM EDT

The Daily Show

TV Show
Current Status
In Season
run date
Comedy Central

In 2011, when Olivia Munn was presented with the mere possibility of costarring on HBO’s The Newsroom, she had a choice: hold out hope that creator Aaron Sorkin would cast her as financial reporter Sloan Sabbith — or accept one of multiple offers on broadcast TV. Munn’s agent and manager weren’t exactly pushing for the Sorkin gamble. ”They were like, ‘You know how many people are going to want this Sorkin job? There are only three female roles in it,”’ she remembers. ”I was not proven. I was the girl from The Daily Show, and the one who jumped in a pie on G4.” Fortunately for her, Sorkin was keen on Munn’s work as a correspondent on the Comedy Central talk show and didn’t consider anyone else to play the brainy and disarmingly sexy reporter who wows ACN’s news-division president, Charlie Skinner (Sam Waterston). It was a dream gig for the half-Chinese 32-year-old — and not just because of Sorkin. She’s actually fulfilling her aspirations from college…at least fictionally. Munn majored in journalism at the University of Oklahoma and worked on the assignment desk at an NBC affiliate in Tulsa before pursuing acting. ”On The Daily Show I pretended to be a fake journalist, and on The Newsroom I pretend to be a real journalist,” she says, teasing that this season Sloan will work on a story that ”ends up really screwing us all over.” The actress also has a turn opposite Eric Bana in Jerry Bruckheimer’s Beware the Night in early 2015, but she’s not letting her status as a breakout star go to her head — at least not just yet. ”Success is so hard to attain,” admits a solemn Munn, ”so fleeting.” She’s sweetly oblivious to the fact that her pie-jumping days are so over.

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