No matter what was discussed, agreed, or signed, when you're in front of a Playboy lens, the nudity negotiation never ends. Olivia Munn learned that after two days with one of their more persistent stylists.
The stylist, whom she impersonated with a swishy, faux-frenchy accent, kept suggesting she try outfits that were plenty evocative of the oops-I-forgot-my-panties style of glamour photography. Then he reached into his costume trunk and pulled out the deal-breaker, a black fishnet number that was a swimsuit in name only. It left zilch to anyone's imagination, least of all what was in his.
She wasn't going there. "My vagina would have looked like a Honeybaked Ham," Munn said, sitting in a makeup chair and talking to Kotaku before Thursday's taping of G4's Attack of the Show, which she co-hosts. Despite the browbeating to Take! It! All! Off!! Munn's decision not to reveal her charms remained as final at the end of her shoot as it was when she rebuffed Playboy's original request.
Munn thinks she knows now why Playboy came back to say, no prob, a clothes-on pictorial was OK. "I'm convinced the photographer and the stylist were in cahoots to get me naked," Munn said. Hey, never let it be said Playboy doesn't have its readers' number one interest foremost in mind.
"They were showing me all these things to put on and saying, ‘And you can just see everything! And it's just gorge,' and I'm thinking, 'You guys are out of your mind," Munn said. "It ended with my publicist and the stylist screaming at each other."
Becoming one of the few women ever to do a Playboy cover and pictorial without nudity has certainly bolstered Munn's profile as the hottie with Geek Goddess approachability - the gamers' Athena, if you will, thanks largely to her three years with G4. But it's led to plenty of speculation that her choice of a fully functional wardrobe was only a business decision. That now isn't the right time for her to get naked, but one day that right time will come, and we'll both know it, and when it happens it will be tender and magical.
Yeah, forget it.
"It'll never happen," Munn said. "It would never happen. I think there's nothing wrong with Playboy - there's nothing wrong with women who want to be in the magazine, if they're comfortable being naked and showing everything. But I'm looking through it like, ‘Holy shit, that's a lot of vadge.' I mean, it's filled with that stuff. There's nothing wrong with it, it's just not something I'd do."
Not only did Munn turn away trained professionals with graduate degrees in coaxing hot women out of their clothes, she showed them less than she did to Complex back in April. "My underboob's in that shoot," she said. "You can't see anything like that in what I did for Playboy. I did the same amount of nudity, for them, that I did in a bathing suit for Surf magazine."
You can get a look at what she did show for Playboy in this online pictorial. "It's not like I'm the pizza guy in some porno," Munn said. But even though she'd never go half as far as that, Playboy or what it represents isn't intimidating to her. "It's just naked pictures, and they're all of hot girls," she said, "except there's one in there with big bush, that's not really good."
Munn's knows that part of why Playboy came calling, and was cool with her not doing nudity, is she has a fan base that's highly coveted by advertisers. Gamers are easily separated from their dough, after all. But the positive response she's gotten for not taking it off tells her that her fans do care. "They're not going to say, 'Oh, titty! Oh, that's Olivia's vagina, let's go buy it!'" she said. "They're supportive, not just because it gets them off."
But she doesn't worry about being typecast for the geek demographic. To the contrary, it gets her plenty of work. She's just finished up a role in Iron Man II, and got an offer for another from producers who said they wanted someone who isn't the kind of pedestalized-hot that Megan Fox represents.
"I love this world I am in," Munn said. "If I could stay in this world forever, the nerd world, I'd be happy. I've been here for three years, and I can confidently say this is a world I feel comfortable and welcomed in."
Unpublished picture courtesy Playboy.