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The Marvel Cinematic Universe is known to produce blockbuster after blockbuster, and it’s every actor’s dream to kick butt as a superhero in one of these films.

Many A-list actors have joined the ranks of the Marvel Universe, including Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, and Natalie Portman – and they’ve all been paid handsomely for their appearances.

Joining the Marvel Universe clearly brings fame and fortune for any actor, so it seems crazy to think that someone might turn down their chance to appear in one of these movies. The highest-paid MCU actor even brought home over $75 million last year! However, Hollywood darling Olivia Munn did turn down the first big MCU role that was offered to her, and for a very good reason.

A recap of Olivia Munn’s career

Olivia Munn on the red carpet
Olivia Munn | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

People might recognize actor Olivia Munn from her work as a correspondent on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, but she’s also starred in many movies during her 15-year career in Hollywood. Her biggest movies include Magic MikeDate Night, and Zoolander 2. Those who can’t get enough of Munn can watch one of her newest movies, Love Wedding Repeat, which recently debuted on Netflix.

Munn is known to always stay true to her values, even when her critics try to shut her down. She has been vocal about the issue of sexism and sexual abuse in Hollywood, and in 2017 per Rolling Stone published an essay to come forward about the sexual assault she and other women experienced at the hands of director Brett Ratner.

“This is not a ‘women’s’ issue, this is an abuse-of-power issue… and until we eradicate the diseased roots of our infrastructure and make foundational, systemic changes, nothing will change,” she wrote at the time. It’s clear that Munn is proud of her feminist values and that she was on the right side of history and the #MeToo movement.

The reason Munn turned down a role in the MCU

Munn revealed that she was once offered the role of Deadpool’s (played by actor Ryan Reynolds) girlfriend, Vanessa, in the Marvel movie Deadpool. However, her strong feminist values wouldn’t allow her to take the role in good conscience.

Munn shared via that she didn’t want to play the role of “girlfriend” yet again, especially not in a Marvel movie! If she was going to agree to join the Marvel Universe, she wanted to make sure that it was for playing a character that kicked butt, had plenty of fight scenes, and existed for more than just supporting a male character.

It makes total sense: why would anybody want to waste their Marvel opportunity playing just a “girlfriend”? The role of Vanessa eventually went to Morena Baccarin, who seemed to disagree with Munn’s description of the character as “just a girlfriend”, but it just wasn’t what Munn wanted.

Munn eventually snagged the Marvel role she wanted


Olivia Munn Spotlights the Difference Between Being a Man and Woman in Hollywood

We doubt that Munn regretted turning down the role of Vanessa, because she eventually got to play one of the most kick-butt characters in the MCU: Psylocke in X-Men: Apocalypse.

Psylocke seems to be exactly what Munn was looking for, with intense action scenes in which she gets to show off her lethal sword skills.

In fact, the Huffington Post reported that Munn was worried that the script would include too much dialogue for her character – she really wanted to focus solely on the action scenes! Apparently, she even told the film executives that the “fight scenes could be [her] monologue.”

X-Men: Apocalypse isn’t the only MCU movie that Munn has had a role in, however. She also had a small role as news reporter Chess Roberts in Iron Man 2, but she didn’t get any action sequences in that movie.