In “The Predator,” Olivia Munn plays Casey Bracket, a scientist and the lone woman teamed up with a group of military men to stop the namesake, genetically-enhanced super species from destroying mankind. During the first Hall H panel of 2018’s San Diego Comic-Con, when she was complimented on her ease handling firearms onscreen, the actress and best-selling author explained how she and writer-director Shane Black chose to subvert one stereotype that commonly hinders women in action movies.
“Something that’s really big for me, that I think about working on every role, is micro-aggression, especially when it comes to how we portray women,” Munn said, seated alongside Black and her co-stars Sterling K. Brown, Thomas Jane, Keegan-Michael Key, Augusto Aguilera, Trevante Rhodes, and Jake Busey. “Whenever you see movies, the guy can pick up a gun or whatever, and he just automatically knows how to do it. And girls are always like [in a whiny voice], ‘Oh, I don’t know.’ And I thought, ‘Well, I don’t want her to be proficient, because she’s not a soldier, but I want her to know how [to use a gun] just the same way that guys know how, and let’s just not address it.'”
Black agreed completely, telling the Comic-Con crowd, “It’s not like [just because you’re a woman] you don’t know what to do with a gun, and you have to be told.” Thus, in Munn’s words, “Anytime there was an opportunity that my character could make sense out of a weapon, we grab it; and if not, I wasn’t just putting a weapon in my hands. Sometimes you’ll be like, ‘This woman’s so badass, and she’s going to—‘ and I wanted [my character] to be really real,” such as challenging Janes’ character’s initial profanity (he has Tourette Syndrome).
Last month, Munn wrapped her portrayal of a CIA officer in another project with plenty of combat: SEAL Team Six drama “Six,” which History cancelled after two seasons. Fans can see her in action again when 20th Century Fox releases “The Predator” on September 14.