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Yvonne Strahovski > Broadway > Golden Boy > Stills7x09 Helter Skelter

AUSTRALIAN actress Yvonne Strahovski is making her Broadway debut, despite having never seen a Broadway show.

“I don’t know if I should be ashamed to say I’ve never seen one or if I should be kind of proud of it,” she says over coffee. “Probably a bit of both.”

Strahovski, who played a CIA agent in NBC’s action comedy show Chuck and then crossed over to the dark side as a serial killer in Dexter, plays Lorna Moon in the Lincoln Centre Theatre revival of Clifford Odets’ Golden Boy.

The play, which opens next week at the Belasco Theatre, is about a young man torn between his true calling as a violinist and the lure of fast money as a boxer. Strahovski, 30, plays his manager’s mistress and is in 10 of the play’s 12 scenes.

The play represents something of a return to Strahovski’s roots. A University of Western Sydney graduate, she emerged intent on a career onstage and even co-founded her own theatre company.

On a whim, she decided to audition for TV shows in America, flew to Los Angeles and landed Chuck in three days. “I remember calling my parents and telling them I’m not coming home,” she says. “And I never used my return ticket home.”

After five seasons in slinky outfits delivering vicious kicks to enemies, Strahovski next found herself in something of a love triangle with Jennifer Carpenter and Michael C. Hall in season 7 of Dexter.

Next month she appears opposite Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand in The Guilt Trip, and next year she’ll be in I, Frankenstein with Bill Nighy and Aaron Eckhart.

It was while filming I, Frankenstein in Australia that Strahovski went to a comedy festival and was reminded how much she adored performing live. Right about then, Broadway was calling – and she leapt. “There’s something completely raw and unique about live theatre and it puts you on your toes,” she says.

Strahovski says the play is still revealing itself to her and she’s stretching her acting muscles alongside a cast of 19 that includes Danny Burstein and Tony Shalhoub.

She recently sat down with The Associated Press to evade questions about whether she survived season 7 of Dexter, to boast about her unusual gun skills and to complain about her cable company.

AP: How different is this experience?

Strahovski: Honestly, I do feel a little bit like a fish out of water. A, I’ve never done a Broadway play. B, I’ve never seen a Broadway play. C, I’m Australian. And I’m an Australian coming in to do a classic American play that is set in the ’30s. It’s been challenging on all fronts.

AP: What can you tell us about Dexter? Do you survive?

Strahovski: I can’t reveal much. It’s so hard to talk about. And I haven’t even caught up with the last two episodes. My cable didn’t turn on last night and I was on hold for 40 minutes with Time Warner. You should print that! I was on hold for 40 minutes and nobody answered the phone.

AP: Were you a fan of Dexter before you landed a job on it?

Strahovski: I had seen bits and pieces but I had never watched episode after episode. So I actually sat down and watched all six seasons back-to-back for three weeks before I started shooting.

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