Olivia Munn Reveals Struggles Working With Bryan Singer In X-Men: Apocalypse

Olivia Munn as as Psylocke in X-Men: Apocalypse
(Image credit: (Fox))

2018’s award season was as packed with accolades for Bohemian Rhapsody as it was surrounded with controversy about Bryan Singer’s unexpected exit from the movie that had Dexter Fletcher assuming the role of director late in production. On set issues with the director were not isolated to Bohemian Rhapsody, however, as X-Men: Apocalypse’s Psylocke Olivia Munn can attest. The actress is now speaking out about her experience on the 2016 film, and it doesn't sound great. As she explains it:

When we shot X-Men, I never shot a huge movie like that before. I didn’t know what was right or wrong, but I did know that it seems strange that Bryan Singer could check out and say he had a thyroid issue. Instead of going to a doctor in Montreal, which is a very high-level, working city, he said he had to go to L.A. And he was gone for about 10 days is my recollection. And he said, ‘Continue. Keep filming.’ We’d be on set, I remember there’s a big scene that we’d have, and we’d come back from lunch and then one of Bryan’s assistants would come up and show us a cell phone with a text message on it.

Speaking with Variety, the Love Wedding Repeat actress remembers Bryan Singer being away from the set of the almost $200 million film for over a week to deal with “thyroid issues” about 3,000 miles away in Los Angeles. By her estimation, the director could have received treatment in the city in Canada during the extensive shoot.

The director has been dealing with sexual abuse allegations against him dating back to 1997. Ahead of production starting up on X-Men: Apocalypse, Bryan Singer was dealing with two lawsuits concerning allegations of abusing underaged boys, which were later dismissed. Though Singer’s publicist said in a response to Munn's comments that Singer was only off set for two days in the making of the blockbuster, Olivia Munn recalled her experience with the director as being abnormal:

And he texted to the actors, ‘Hey guys. I’m busy right now. But just go ahead and start filming without me.’ And we’d be like, ‘OK.’ And I never thought any of it was normal, but I didn’t realize that other people also thought it wasn’t normal. And the other people who thought it wasn’t normal would be people at high levels, people who make decisions on whether to hire this person. Come to find out it is really strange and it wasn’t OK. But this person is allowed to continue to go on. Fox still gives him Bohemian Rhapsody, and then we all know what happened.

Bryan Singer was fired from Bohemian Rhapsody with less than three weeks left on the film’s production schedule. The director reportedly clashed with Best Actor winner Rami Malek on the project, who later called the experience working with him “not pleasant.” X-Men’s Dark Phoenix actress Sophie Turner echoed Malek’s statements about her own time with the filmmaker.

Due to his reputation and more allegations in 2017 and 2019, Bryan Singer’s name was removed from BAFTA’s nomination for Bohemian Rhapsody and the GLAAD Media Awards withdrew the movie from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’s list of Outstanding Film as well. Singer was also initially going to make a Red Sonja reboot that has since been placed on hold. The director reportedly walked away from Bohemian Rhapsody’s record-breaking $800 million success with $40 million added to his pocket.

Olivia Munn had a supporting role in X-Men: Apocalypse as Psylocke, primarily featured in the film’s battle against Oscar Isaac’s En Sabah Nur as an ally of the villain. She did not reprise her role for Fox’s final X-Men series installment Dark Phoenix before rights to the franchise was turned over to Disney’s Marvel Studios.

Olviia Munn just starred in Netflix’s rom-com Love Wedding Repeat, and is set to lead the timely drama about a female movie executive called Violet.

Up next: Olivia Munn and Sam Claflin Talk New Netflix Film Love Wedding Repeat

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.