05/09/2012 01:01 pm ET

Olivia Munn's Stepfather Verbally Abused Her

She may make a living making people laugh on both the big and small screens, but Olivia Munn's family life wasn't always a laughing matter. The actress -- who can be seen on HBO's upcoming Aaron Sorkin drama, "The Newsroom" -- opened up to Ocean Drive magazine about dealing with verbal abuse thrown at her by her stepfather and how she channeled her frustration into art.

“He would always say, ‘You’re not smart enough, pretty enough, you have no talent,’ and it would knock me down, but it wouldn’t keep me down,” Munn, 31, said of her stepfather, whom she referred to only as "the Devil" in the article.

Munn's mother, Kim Schmid, was briefly married to Munn's biological father, but was remarried by the time her daughter was 2 years old. The actress' stepfather, an Air Force officer, relocated the family many times, but settled in Japan.

In addition to feeling out of place growing up in a foreign country, Munn recalled how she would help distract her siblings from the domestic drama.

“When [my stepfather] would be screaming his head off in the living room, I would hustle everybody into my room and launch into imitations of teachers or do scenes from movies ... And that would take their minds off of the hell that was happening down the hall.”

Little did Munn know that one day she'd be a full-fledged celebrity -- complete with a faux nude scandal! --with an HBO project creating lots of buzz. Munn joins Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, John Gallagher Jr., Alison Pill, Thomas Sadoski, Dev Patel and Sam Waterston in "The Newsroom," premiering June 24 on HBO.

For more from Munn's interview, including her response to critics who questioned her "Daily Show" casting, head over to Ocean Drive magazine.

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

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