I don't mind being a sex symbol

This Hollywood actress is one fine specimen of sexy and funny rolled into a single exotic package - and she loves her carbs too!

She has her breakout gig in 2006 as a host of Attack Of The Show! to credit for all the male attention. The geeky variety series aired on the G4 network, a US TV channel geared towards male audiences and the world of video games.

Munn would go on to become a sex symbol after a picture of her cosplaying as Princess Leia from Star Wars in 2007 went viral online.

She scored a Babe of the Month title in Playboy magazine that same year.

But it's not only the men who get all starry-eyed. Munn, 33, has won over adoring fans from the fairer sex thanks to her role as Sloane, a hard-nosed financial journalist in Oscar-winner Aaron Sorkin's TV series The Newsroom.

The show gives a behind-the-scenes look at the making of a nightly news programme at the fictional Atlantic Cable News (ACN) Network.

Also starring Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer and Dev Patel, The Newsroom premieres Aug 5 at 9pm on HBO (StarHub TV Ch 601) and HBO HD (StarHub TV Ch 655).

Munn was in Singapore on Tuesday to promote the second season.

The Asian-American beauty is aware of her status as a sex symbol and confident about her body, considering she was topless in the Channing Tatum vehicle Magic Mike last year.

"I don't mind being objectified as a sex symbol," she told FiRST at the Four Seasons Hotel.

"As long as it's my choice, you know? It's different when you embrace it and it's your decision to (show your sexuality).

"I grew up in a world where beauty means being blonde and having light-coloured eyes and wearing frilly dresses.

"So if the world is changing where people that look like me - this Asian girl who's barely five-foot-four (1.56cm) and eats carbs - are being embraced (as sexy), then it's so nice to hear. It's good to know that the landscape of beauty is including more than just tall, blonde, beautiful people."

Munn was born to a German-Irish father and a Chinese mum.

Though Munn, who's dating Swedish actor Joel Kinnaman, may describe herself as an awkward-looking person who prefers to sit in a dark corner away from the bright lights, she cut a pretty striking picture at the interview in a figure-hugging Monique Lhuillier graphic print dress.

Good looks aside, her other attractive trait has to be her kooky sense of humour.

"My best asset is my ability to make a joke out of any situation," said Munn, laughing.

"Literally anything can happen and I'll try to find a way to make an inappropriate joke."

Munn's comedic flair is evident in movies such as Big Stan (2007), Date Night (2010), I Don't Know How She Does It (2011) and The Babymakers (2012).

But it's her association to such fluffier stuff that made her almost miss out on the role in The Newsroom.

"The casting folks didn't want to see me because I'm not the Broadway-type actress," Munn said.

"I'm not of that kind of pedigree. I came from the other way. I'm not the blue-blood kind of actress."

The Newsroom may have her all covered up in sleek, fitted suits - she insisted on that - but Munn's character Sloane is still the show's juiciest eye candy. That fact was highlighted early last season and referenced again in the first episode of the new season.

"We all live in a world where people dress up and try to look nice," she said. "And if it's going to make it easier to get people to listen to you (because you look good), then it's not a problem for me. That's how our society is."


Added the Oklahoma-born actress, who grew up in Japan: "I grow up with a step-sister who is all blonde-haired and light-eyed.

"I'm half-Chinese, freckled and have brown hair. We are of the same age and when we were at kindergarten, everyone was nice to her. The teachers, the kids... "You learn early on that people are nicer to people they find aesthetically pleasing. People give more attention to those they find attractive. That's just how the world is. I learnt that very early on."

She said: "When I first started out, I was considered too ethnic for the white girl roles. I wasn't white enough. But as my career went on and I got more successful, it's good that the roles are built around me so I don't have to fit into any mould."

What puzzles Munn is that people can't seem to associate a good-looking person like her with brains.

"I often get asked if it's hard to play an attractive person who's also smart. I think that's a really silly question. The way you look has nothing to do with how intelligent you are."

A journalism graduate from the University of Oklahoma, Munn joked about how hard it is to be a journalist in this day and age of making news stories sensational.

She commented that it's common in the US to have a murder or a serious trial turn into a salacious story.

"We have so many cable networks, radio, blogs and Twitter feeds... It's really hard to get the story out right. I prefer now to pretend to be a journalist. It makes my mum happy that I'm using my degree," she said with a laugh.

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