Fresh off Season 3 of The Handmaid’s Tale, actress Yvonne Strahovski talks about playing Serena Joy Waterford in the Hulu hit, starring in the thriller Angel of Mine and nabbing a big movie project alongside Chris Pratt.
Congrats on finishing Season 3 of The Handmaid’s Tale! What are your thoughts on Serena's journey this season and subsequently getting out of Gilead?
YVONNE STRAHOVSKI: It was such a spectacular journey. I love that it started off in the depths of despair, with all of her emotions hanging out. I love seeing her so raw with her mother, mourning the loss of the baby for the first half of the season. Then she transitions back to manipulative Serena with a plan and executes the betrayal of Fred in order to get back with the baby in Canada. She then gets slapped in the face at the very end, facing her own betrayal from Fred. I love that we peel away all the layers of the onion throughout three seasons. She started quite cold and reserved in the first season, then peeled it back in season two and three. It’s lovely to see the unraveling of the character. I hope to see more of that from the writers in Season 4.
Tell us more about your new thriller Angel of Mine.
YS: It was a pretty intense experience! We shot it in Australia, right after season two of Handmaid’s. It was during my second trimester of being pregnant. It was interesting shooting a film like that being pregnant and trying to hide it, of course. The character has quite the history, I will say. It was interesting to negotiate the character throughout the film—what she knows that maybe necessarily other characters don’t know. I’m trying to talk about it without spoiling it! It was quite an intricate journey.
What’s the hardest part about working in the horror/dark drama realm? Is it hard to come out of the dark places these characters are in?
YS: I feel like a sicko saying this, but there’s not really that much that bothers me about it anymore. I go from one dark character to another it seems like; maybe not dark, but emotionally raw. I keep joking to my husband when I come home and say 'I cried today at work again,' or 'I screamed at someone again.' It seems to be an endless amount of emotionally challenging scenes with turmoil in them. I’m so used to doing them now, it’s another day at the office really.
You are an advocate for PETA. Do you have any pets and do you take them on set with you?
YS: I used to have pets. I had two dogs for a very long time. For the first time in 11 years, I am pet-less. It is very strange. I am a huge dog person, so I am sure we will get a dog at some point again. When I did have them, they were on set and traveled a lot with us; everywhere, really. One was a miniature Collie-Spaniel mix. The other one was a [dachshund] dog mixed with other things.
Do you get home to Australia often? What do you miss most about home?
YS: We shot Angel of Mine there, which was great. I have a bunch of friends and parents who live in Australia still, so it was good to catch up with them. Australian sets are always a little different than American sets; true to Australian culture, they are laid-back and relaxed. I just got back from Australia again after Season 3 of Handmaid’s. I shot a project called Stateless that just wrapped. I spent about two-and-a-half months in Australia, spending lots of time with my parents. I just had a baby and they love being with him.
What’s next for you?
YS: I am super excited about the next project. I’m going to be working on a film called [The Tomorrow War] with Chris Pratt...It’s shaping up to be an incredible cast. I’ll be switching gears again heading into the world of this film.
Photography by: Dennis Leupold