Top 5 Reasons We Love Variety’s 2014 Breakthrough Actress OLIVIA MUNN

Variety‘s Breakthrough of the Year Awards celebrates and recognizes rising stars in entertainment and technology. This year, the awards ceremony took place at the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas.

Much of our attention was focused on Variety’s 2014 Breakthrough Actress Winner, Olivia Munn. The 33-year-old half-Chinese actress has been on our radar for quite some time. Thankfully, the world is taking notice.

Munn is most known for her roles in films such as Iron Man 2 and Magic Mike as well as her roles on television shows such as The Daily Show and New Girl.

Although she is considered a “rising star,” she has captivated the hearts of her fans for years. Don’t know her yet? Now’s the time. Here are our Top 5 Reasons We Love Olivia Munn.

 


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1. She never gave up on her dreams.
In a 2011 interview with Audrey Magazine, Munn admits that when she first told her mother she wanted to be an actress, her mother adamantly disagreed and insisted that she become a lawyer.

In fact, her mother wasn’t the only one who doubted Munn’s choice of acting. Initially, Munn found her dreams difficult to follow. Her unique look and Asian eyes originally caused her to feel doubtful.

But Munn didn’t give up on her dreams. In fact, it all made her work harder to prove to everyone (including herself) that she was capable. “I told myself, my bar will always be higher than what I was doing at the time. Then if I reached that one, I would make another higher one, and another one,” she says. “I’ve worked hard for a long time [so I could] tell myself, I’ll never be the reason I hear no.”


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2. She overcame social pressures.
Munn spent much of her childhood moving around. She was born in Oklahoma, but spent a large portion of her childhood in Tokyo, Japan. Needless to say, she found it difficult to fit in.

According to Refinery29, Munn tried to change her appearance to be accepted by her peers. “I wore men’s clothing a lot in high school because I wanted to hide behind baggy pants and T-shirts. When I moved from Japan to Oklahoma at 16 I tried to go more preppy to fit in. I ditched my skater clothes but I just ended up looking like some weird girl desperately trying to fit in. The kids in school would be wearing sweater vests from Gap, but we couldn’t afford brand new clothes so I would borrow my grandmother’s linty, moth-eaten sweater vests and not realise how much of a sore thumb I looked like.”

But as expected, she overcame this need to fit in. “When you’re always the new girl, it forces you to come up with new ways to make friends,” Munn tells Audrey Magazine, “because every time you go somewhere, it’s literally the same battle. Eventually with me, once I built up so much scar tissue, I didn’t have to worry so much about becoming popular or being welcomed or being accepted.”


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3. Her strong relationship with her fans.
Over the years, Munn has gathered quite a handful of loyal fans and has proven that she doesn’t allow fame to get to her head. Her fan club is called OMFGs (Olivia Munn Fan Group) and Munn has been known to be extremely generous and kind to her dedicated fans.  In an interview with US Magazine, Munn has stated that she owes everything she has to her loyal fan group, OMFG.

“They’re amazing. I’m very lucky. It’s a really good feeling to know they have my back,” says Munn. ““They put me on this ride. They’re coming along for the ride.”

 


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4. She’s a published author.
Although Munn pursued her dream of becoming an actress despite her mother’s initial sentiments about the career, the last thing Munn wanted to do was go against her mother’s will. Munn admits that no matter what, she needed her mother’s approval before making big decisions like moving to Hollywood.

To satisfy her mother, she graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a journalism degree and work for a year at a local television station before moving west.

Although Munn is now a successful actress, she still put her degree to good use and became a published author. Suck It, Wonder Woman: The Misadventures of a Hollywood Geek, was released on July 6, 2010.

 


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5. She’s an Audrey Magazine covergirl.
The beautiful Olivia Munn graced our Spring 2011 cover. Check out the must-read cover story here.

 

You Won’t Believe How They Paid For Their Son’s Tuition

With the rising cost of education, many families are left wondering if they can even afford to send their children off to college. The Asian community, however, is known to endure many obstacles in order to ensure an education for their children. Why? College is seen as a necessary step towards a better life- one in which parents will do nearly anything to achieve.

This appears to be the case for Jiagu Zhu and Jianying Liu, a couple in Hengyang, China. The couple realized early on that they would have to work hard to get their children into college in hopes of an easier future. To reach their dream the husband and wife rented a factory unit  in 2004 and got to work.

How was the determined couple planning to send their sons to college? By collecting and recycling over 180kg of plastic (about 7,000 plastic bottles) each day.

According to RocketNews24, the couple must both work tirelessly everyday to make a living. Mr. Jiagu Zhu rides through the streets on his tricycle and alleys to collect discarded plastic and Mrs. Jianying Liu separates and cleans the collected bottles.

“Having it tough is a fortune in disguise, as after the bitter times there will be sweet times. After putting in hard work, you’ll reap good results. We’re countrymen, there’s nothing we’re afraid of. We’re not afraid of leading a hard life, we’re not afraid of exhausting work, we can carve out a happy life with our bare hands,” says Mr. Zhu.

After ten years of hard work, the couple has been able to send both their sons to college and one to Germany to pursue his PhD. To them, all their hard work was entirely worth it.

 

The Daily SHAG: Mario Maurer

If there’s anyone that has the right to be called a SHAG (Smoking Hot Asian Guy), that would have to be Mario Maurer.

This 25-year-old Thai German actor and model is actually of Chinese and German decent. At the age of 16, Maurer began his modeling career, but it wasn’t until 2007 that he was thrown into fame with his lead role in The Love of Siam. The film received critical acclaim and dominated in Thailand’s 2007 film awards season. Maurer’s portrayal of the character Tong gained him the Best Actor award in Southeast Asian film category at the 10th Cinemanila International Film Festival, Best Actor Award for the Starpics Awards and a nomination for Best Supporting Actor in the Asian Film Awards at the Hong Kong International Film Festival.

Maurer is also known for his roles in First Love and as the lead role in Thailand’s highest grossing film of all time, Pee Mak, which has earned more than $33 million in revenue worldwide.

The Thai actor has also been gaining quite a bit of popularity in the Philippines for his role in the 2012 Filipino Thai romantic comedy romantic film, Suddenly It’s Magic. In an interview with Philippine Inquirer, Maurer discussed his good experience working in the Philippines.

“There are not many differences, except… in Thailand, it’s easier for me to get acquainted with coworkers. When I did “Suddenly,” I had to use my second language (English). But the Filipinos never let me feel I was from a different place. I was happy to work with them,” he remarked. When asked if he would consider working there again, Maurer replied, “Yes, of course. If I find time, I’ll come back-no problem. But first I want to speak better Filipino. It’s a very cute language.”

Polite, hardworking AND attractive? Mario Maurer clearly deserves to be our Daily SHAG.

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Check out our most popular SHAGs of 2013 here!

Can You Spot The Difference? Unnecessary Edits For Mindy Kaling’s ELLE Magazine Cover

February 2014 is Elle’s annual Women in TV issue. They’ve decided to feature four of television’s top celebrities: Zooey Deschanel, Amy Poehler, Allison Williams and Audrey Magazine Winter 2011-12  covergirl, Mindy Kaling. The four actresses all received their very own cover. This is reason to rejoice, right? An Asian American actress is finally being ranked equally in mainstream media!

But wait. Is she?

It doesn’t take much effort to spot the blatant difference between Kaling’s cover compared to the others. Many upset readers have pointed out the very obvious difference that Kaling’s cover is the only one black and white. Sure, the actress still looks stunning, but why are the other women not also in black and white? Why did they feel the need to take away the color of the one woman who was not Caucasian?

Other readers have pointed out that while the other three actresses received full-body covers, Kaling’s cover is a cropped close up.

Is it a coincidence? Is it just chance that Kaling (who happens to not fit the stereotypical body size of American actresses) is the only one who doesn’t receive a full body cover? Is it mere coincidence that the one person of color gets the black and white photo? Did they simply fail to notice that the other three photos are consistent and similar while Kaling’s is not?

Tell us what you think.

 

CONTROVERSY ALERT: Tiger Mom Claims “Some Races Are Superior”

Amy Chua is no stranger to controversy. In 2011, she gained the nickname “Tiger Mom” through her book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother which advocated for a strict “Chinese” parenting style as well her belief that Chinese mothers are superior.

Now, she’s making headlines once again by taking that belief one step further.

Chua, a Chinese American law professor at Yale, joins forces with husband Jed Rubenfeld to write The Triple Package. The point of this book? To prove that certain groups of people are superior because they have innate qualities that make them more likely to succeed in life.

The Triple Package lists these groups as most likely to succeed in America: Jewish, Indian, Chinese, Iranian, Lebanese-Americans, Nigerians, Cuban exiles and Mormons. As the title indicates, the duo believe that these cultural groups have three traits in common which make them inherently more superior than others: a superiority complex, insecurity and impulse control.

“Mormons have recently risen to astonishing business success,” the authors write. “Cubans in Miami climbed from poverty to prosperity in a generation. Nigerians earn doctorates at stunningly high rates. Indian and Chinese Americans have much higher incomes than other Americans; Jews may have the highest of all.”

According to NYDailyNews, the book also explains why some cultural groups, including African Americans, “might not have what it takes to reach the top.”

The authors seem to recognize that they are making rather controversial claims, but are standing by their work. The books publisher, Penguin Press, released a statement yesterday in support of The Triple Package.

“We are proud to be publishing ‘The Triple Package’ in February and we look forward to a thoughtful discussion about the book and success in America,” the statement read.

Although the book will not hit shelves until February, it has already gathered a handful of criticism (for obvious reasons) from critics and public alike.

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Asian American Novel Debuts World’s First-Ever 3D Printed Book Cover

First there were 3D movies. Then there were 3D televisions and game systems. Now, apparently, there are 3D book covers.

Riverhead books released “the first-ever 3D printed slipcover” for On Such A Full Sea by Korean American author, Chang-rae Lee. As you can see, the edges are slowly rising as if you were looking at the coverslip with 3D glasses.

So what’s the point of a 3D book cover? As far as we can tell, the main purpose is aesthetics. The cover looks unique and makes for a nice limited edition collector’s piece. After all, how often can you say you have something thats been 3D printed?

According to Time, each coverslip took about 15 hours to print. As cool and innovative as it sounds, Time has pointed out some difficulties with the product such as its bulkiness and inability to properly fit on a bookshelf. And let’s not forget that the price of this thing is $150. (Don’t worry, you can purchase regular copies of the novel for normal prices.)

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While we’re not quite certain if we’re ready to dish $150 on this book cover, we admit that this is some really advanced work. This is perfectly fit for a novel which focuses on a futuristic dystopian America. Even if you’re not appealed by the 3D printed book cover, you should look into the novel itself.

According to Polymic, “Lee has just published his fifth novel, On Such a Full Sea, a dystopian story of a post-climate change and post-racial America, and he is finally getting the attention he deserves. In fact, he’s just written a novel so sensitive to the plight of Asian Americans in America that it may well come to be the Great Asian American novel.”

When Fan, a 16-year old girl who is part of the the small percentage who live in luxurious gated communities, leave her safe confines and ventures into the “counties,” she threatens to break the system.

“This is not the first or even most incisive dystopian vision of America,” Gracie Jin of Polymic writes. “But it is the first in which the role of Asian Americans is crucial, the first in which betrayal — especially of one’s own history and family and past — moves its talons over the immigrant story. By writing American dystopia with Chinese-American protagonists, Lee asserts not only that Asian immigrants have been a part of the history and making of America (an oft told immigrant narrative), but also that they have a stake in the future of America.”

Top Five Reasons We Love The Bride-To-Be JAMIE CHUNG

 

We’ve all been buzzing with excitement over the news of Jamie Chung’s engagement to long-time boyfriend Bryan Greenberg. Well, most of us have been excited. We’ve come across some fans who are broken-hearted that their “future wife” will now remain a daydream.

Of course, we don’t blame them! There are plenty of reasons to love the 30-year-old Korean American actress. Below are our Top Five Reasons We Love The Bride-To-Be JAMIE CHUNG. 


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1. Brains & Beauty
It goes without saying that Jamie Chung is gorgeous. All we have to do is show you some photoshoots of this 30-year-old actress and you will surely agree with us (and join us in wondering how this girl keeps so fit).

In addition to her looks, Chung understands the importance of an education. After graduating from Lowell High School in 2001, Chung went on to receive her BA in Communications from the University of California, Riverside in 2005. Her education was so important to her that she worked two jobs while in school to pay her bills.

Even after her stint on MTV’s The Real World: San Diego, Chung went right back to finish school. Jamie tells Audrey Magazine, “It was never a goal to do a reality show, nor did I think it would help me get into movies. At the time, I just thought of it as a cool vacation that helped pay for my student loans.”

 



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2. She Made Our Disney Princess Dreams Come True

Jamie Chung has graced television screens since 2004, but it is her most recent role which caught the attention of many.

Who can forget when Disney released Mulan in 1998? We definitely couldn’t. For some of us, this was finally a Disney Princess who actually looked like us. That’s huge. So when the ABC drama series Once Upon A Time started bringing fairytales to life, we were more than excited to see if they would include Mulan. But was there anyone who could properly play one of our most favorite Disney princesses?

Luckily for us, Jamie Chung does not disappoint. Her portrayal of Mulan is just as tough and inspiring as ever. When it was revealed that the Once Upon A Time character is bisexual, Chung’s character began making television history.

 


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3. Her Bold & Daring Personality 

Chung decided to become an actress despite her “traditional” Korean parents. Bold? Yup. Chung’s character Mulan in Once Upon A Time portrays the popular Disney Princess as bisexual, a move which gained a handful of both praise and criticism. Daring? You bet.

Time and time again, Chung has shown a brave heart. ““[Acting] has always been a secret desire of mine. When I first started, I was so afraid of failure that I didn’t tell anyone what I was doing. But, once I decided, I dove right in,” Jamie tells Audrey Magazine.

But even after jumping into acting, Chung had to show a strong heart. This is especially true when she played the lead in the indie film, Eden, based on the true story of Chong Kim and her personal struggles against human sex trafficking.

“It’s a story that has to be shared,” she says. “We’d ride around in this ghetto-ass van during the kidnapper scenes or use handheld cameras while locked in a car trunk. Whatever it took. I pushed myself and stripped myself of everything I was comfortable with.”


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4. She’s A Hard-Worker
Looking at all the work that Chung has done in the past few years alone is enough to stress anyone. She has packed her resume will roles on a number of television shows and movies including Grey’s Anatomy, Sucker Punch, The Hangover II & III, Premium Rush, The Man With The Iron Fists, 7500, and a handful of upcoming films. Quite frankly, we’re not sure how she manages to do it all.

But Chung simply views all this as experience which helps her grow. “Acting is like a rubber band ball,” she says. “After each job, you walk away with something and add another rubber band to that ball. And the bigger the ball, the more people and experiences add to your art. Acting is great in that you can only get better with age.”


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5. She’s An AUDREY MAGAZINE Cover Girl
The beautiful Korean American actress graced the cover of our magazine in Fall 2012. Additionally, she gave us an amazing cover story. Read it here.

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BONUS: Her Fashion Sense
In addition to all of Jamie Chung’s talents, she is also a fashion blogger. Check out some of our her looks on her official blog.

 

 

Calling All EXO Fans: This Dubstep Dance Practice Video Will Make Your Day

It’s quite an understatement to say that EXO took over 2013. They took the #1 spot on M! Countdown New Year’s special, won “Song of The Year” at the 2013 KBS Music Festival and sold over a million copies of their album in a single year. This is an accomplishment that no other kpop group has been able to achieve in twelve years.

Let’s not forget that the dance video to their hit song “Growl” has over 23,000,000 views.

So what’s the secret behind their overwhelming success? Is it the fact that there are 12 members? Is it because there are Korean and Chinese members? Is it their good looks, charming personalities and talented voices? We’re gonna go ahead and say that it’s probably all of these reasons combined.

According to allkpop, EXO responded to all their success in 2013 by saying, “We sincerely thank everyone who helped us break the valuable record of being a million seller. 2013 has become an unforgettable year for us as we received a lot of love from many people and received good results. In order to return the love, we will become an EXO who will continue to work hard next year.”

EXO is certainly living up to their word and are already turning heads in 2014. At the KBS Music Festival, EXO performed a squeal-worthy “Dubstep Intro.” Today, they released the dance practice video to the performance.

Although the video is only a little over a minute long, it will certainly be your favorite minute of the day.

 

Still can’t tell the 12 members apart? Click here for the Ultimate Guide to EXO and be sure to check out more of their dance skills with their other practice video below:

 

You Won’t Believe What These Kids Risk Their Lives For

Our 2014 resolutions may be filled with dreams of a healthier diet, a proper sleep schedule and less procrastination. But there’s something many of us have overlooked for the new year. How about the resolution to be more thankful?

By simply reading this, you already prove that you have a lot to be appreciative of. You have access to a computer and more importantly, you have had an education which taught you how to read. And let’s be honest now. In the midst of worrying about school, work, or what your future will look like, you probably haven’t taken some time out of your day to be thankful for the luxury of literacy, right?

Well, now is the time.

I’m sure many of us can remember some grumpy mornings getting up for school. But in reality, we didn’t have much to complain about compared to kids around the world who walk miles, climb dangerous bridges and risk their life every day simply to get to school and have an education.

You’ll definitely think twice before complaining about early morning traffic.

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A child using what is left of a bridge in Indonesia.

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Collapsed bridges in Indonesia.

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Children in the Philippines using an inflatable tube to cross flooded rivers.

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Planks dangerously over aqueducts.

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school 9 school 10 school 11Students who swim through rivers to get to school in Vietnam.

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Inspiring Story of The Day: 10-Yr-Old Petitions For A Disabled Doll

American Girl Dolls is a popular line of 18-inch dolls with accompanying books, clothes and accessories. First released in 1986, the dolls and their stories were originally intended to focus on various periods in American history.

In recent years, when the dolls began telling stories of modern and contemporary life, American Girl Dolls became known for even more than teaching history. The dolls have received much praise for the diversity within their products. They have not only introduced dolls of various ethnicities and religions, they’ve even introduced dolls without hair and a hearing aid accessory for the dolls.

American Girl Dolls believe that by having dolls that they can relate to, girls can feel more comfortable in their own skin and will have an easier time accepting themselves. But despite the diverse choices, 10-year-old Melissa Shang still could not relate to the dolls she loved. That is why she began a petition to release an American Doll with a disability.

Shang has Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease which forces her to use a wheelchair. Shang is an avid fan of American Girl Dolls and wishes for nothing more than to find a doll she can relate to. More specifically, Shang enjoys the Girl of The Years. Every year, American Girl introduces a new character who faces common-day challenges.

Sheng’s goal is to have the next Girl of The Year have a disability as well. Her heartfelt petition states:

None of the American Girl Girls of the Year are like me. None of them have a disability.

Being a disabled girl is hard. Muscular Dystrophy prevents me from activities like running and ice-skating, and all the stuff that other girls take for granted. For once, I don’t want to be invisible or a side character that the main American Girl has to help: I want other girls to know what it’s like to be me, through a disabled American Girl’s story.

Disabled girls might be different from normal kids on the outside. They might sit in a wheelchair like I do, or have some other difficulty that other kids don’t have. However, we are the same as other girls on the inside, with the same thoughts and feelings. American Girls are supposed to represent all the girls that make up American history, past and present. That includes disabled girls.

 

Read her full petition here and watch her inspiring story below.