Olivia Munn says she 'absolutely broke down' seeing her body after a double mastectomy

Kaitlyn Huamani, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Women

Olivia Munn is sharing her emotional reaction to her double mastectomy and explaining how seeing her body for the first time post-surgery was a “shock to [her] system.”

Munn said in a new interview that while her doctors assured her that she looked “fantastic” at her post-surgery checkup, she had “such a hard time” when she saw the aftermath of the 10-hour operation.

“I remember just looking in the mirror with him and just having no emotion, just taking in what he was saying,” she told People. “When I got home, I undressed and looked in the mirror again, and that’s when I just absolutely broke down. I just thought, ‘Oh my gosh, this is what I look like, and I don’t want to look at myself right now’ and that was really tough.”

In her first time speaking publicly about her breast cancer diagnosis, surgeries and recovery since she announced the diagnosis in March, Munn said she first opted for tissue expanders over immediate reconstructive surgery. Months later, she did have reconstructive work done, which she said helped her feel more comfortable with her body.

“It’s much better, but it’s not the same, and that’s OK because I’m here,” she said. “And I’m OK with that now.”

To reduce the risk of cancer returning, Munn started hormone suppression therapy in November, which put her into medically induced menopause. Munn said that despite the physically and emotionally difficult aspects of recovery, she feels “extremely grateful” that she is cancer-free.


“The Newsroom” star said her diagnosis came shortly after she had overcome a period of postpartum anxiety, which she described as being at “a 100” on a scale of 1 to 10 after she had her son, Malcolm, with her partner, comedian John Mulaney. She said that just after the anxiety symptoms lifted, she got her cancer diagnosis.

“I haven’t really felt like I’ve been back in the body that I knew before,” she said. “But that’s OK for me, it truly is. I feel so happy that I got myself through it, that if I have a few scars and dents and bathing suits look different on me now, that’s OK, and I’m proud of myself for what I went through.”

For Munn, sharing her diagnosis and the private details of her recovery experience have been “healing.” She is embracing her role as an advocate for frequent breast cancer screenings and increased awareness.

“I hope by telling this story more women learn about the free, online test that saved my life, the Tyrer-Cuzick score,” she wrote Wednesday on her Instagram story. She’s also sharing her experience of learning to embrace her scars — she calls them her “battle wounds” — and to feel comfortable with her body again in the hope that it helps other breast cancer survivors.

“It’s a very profound journey to find out how much strength and resilience I have. It’s more than I thought I had,” she told People. “I’m much more comfortable in my skin, even though it looks very different now.”

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