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Yvonne Strahovski > Photoshoot > Celeste Sloman

From the start, “The Handmaid’s Tale” — the Hulu series spun from Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel about a brutal patriarchy and the women who serve it — seemed destined to be a star vehicle for Elisabeth Moss. Her perspective. Her interior monologue. Her face.

Then Yvonne Strahovski transformed into a monster.

“No! No, I didn’t realize but it’s very exciting,” Strahovski exclaimed, sounding as surprised as anyone about the turn her character — Serena Joy Waterford, the Commander’s inscrutable wife — took once Moss’s handmaid, June, became pregnant in the second season. Her resulting tour de force leveled the playing field between Moss and Strahovski, who notched Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for best supporting actress.

“I’ve always wanted to be an actress, even as a little girl in Australia,” she said. “I remember thinking how cool it would be to play and act and then maybe win an award for it one day.”

Season 2 ended with a moment of clarity as Serena rescued her daughter from the savagery she helped create by having her smuggled to Canada. As the third season begins, Strahovski reaffirms her skill as a formidable sparring partner in scenes that shatter the show’s paradigm, transforming Serena into a potential ally to June.

Lithe and radiant, Strahovski — who’d previously played a killer and love interest in “Dexter,” and a C.I.A. agent and love interest in “Chuck” — wasn’t the obvious choice for the frail, but hardened Serena as Atwood wrote her.

But Strahovski pursued the role anyway and endured a two-month wait as the show’s producers decided who they wanted their Serena to be, finally settling on a version that was more of June’s equal.

“It’s an interesting choice for them to go much younger,” she said. “It really ups the drama and the tension between the two women, especially on the subject of fertility, and one being so envious of the other.”

It also upped the personal drama — and led to a thousand “Blessed be the fruit” jokes — for Strahovski, who shot Season 2 while pregnant and Season 3 just weeks after giving birth to a son with her husband, the actor Tim Loden.

In a chat over hot tea at an Upper West Side diner, Strahovski, 36 and raised in Sydney, spoke about the perils of playing Serena and what scares her the most. Not up for discussion: her latest role — only recently announced and still under wraps — in “Stateless,” a new six-part series about four strangers in an Australian immigration detention center produced by and starring Cate Blanchett.

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Auteur : Jenny 04.06.2019 (0) Commentaire

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