A.J. Jacobs chats with his "cousin," Mortdecai actress Olivia Munn

By Jeff Nelson
Updated January 23, 2015 09:00 AM
Advertisement
Image
Credit: Julie Jacobs; Richie Buxo/Splash News Online

Author A.J. Jacobs is tracing his family tree in hopes of mapping out how we’re all related.

Each month, Jacobs will chat with a famous “cousin” (see his chats with Daniel Radcliffe and Valerie Bertinelli) until June 6, 2015, when he plans to hold a huge family reunion.

This month, Jacobs interviewed Olivia Munn, who’s starring in the new action-comedy Mortdecai.

You and I are distance cousins. You are my aunt’s husband’s fifth great-uncle’s wife’s first cousin’s husband’s third great-niece.
Is this going to end with you asking me for money?

It could be anything cash-equivalent.
So bonds are okay?

You are Chinese on your mother’s side and German-Irish on your father’s side.
My grandparents were Chinese but were living in Vietnam. They wanted to leave the country but couldn’t because of the war. The day it ended, my grandfather dug up the gold he’d buried in the backyard and paid for my grandmother and her nine children to come to America.

Which celebrity do you most want to be related to?
When I was a kid, I really wanted to be related to Bruce Lee because I felt like he was the only famous Chinese guy.

One of my favorite stories from your book (Suck It, Wonder Woman!) is that boxer Evander Holyfield once said to you, "I have eight babies by eight women. Do you want to be the ninth?"
That was quite a random moment in my life.

For more on Olivia Munn, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now