Age & Hometown: 30; Sydney, Australia
Current Role: A Broadway debut as Lorna Moon, “the tramp from Newark” who wins the heart of Golden Boy Joe Bonaparte (Seth Numrich) and his manager (Danny Mastrogiorgio).
10 Rounds in Lipstick: Australian screen star Yvonne Strahovski is diving into Broadway head first with a starring role in Lincoln Center Theater’s revival of Clifford Odets’ Golden Boy. As the “hard-boiled” ingénue Lorna Moon, Strahovski carries a large chunk of the three-hour drama. “It’s definitely been challenging and hard work, but it pays off,” she says. “You hear different lines and discover something new every single night. We go on a pretty tremendous journey—once you’re on it, you’re on it, and three hours later you finish the marathon. It’s a roller coaster ride, and nothing is not complicated.” After the curtain comes down, the actress looks for ways to center herself and leave Lorna at the Belasco Theatre. “I must admit it’s a little hard to come down off the show every night,” she says. “Usually, it’s a cup of chamomile tea, some couch time and trying to get that red lipstick off.”
Unlikely Inspiration: Golden Boy may be Strahovski’s first time on Broadway, but she is hardly a stage novice. In her native Australia, she explains, “I went to theater school for three years and had my own little theater company," Sydney's Sauna Productions Theatre. Strahovski even played Viola in a school production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, but screen success came first for the striking blonde. “Golden Boy was definitely not something I imagined I would be doing at this point in my life because, for the last six years, I was focusing on film and television,” she says. “I have had some theater auditions come my way [and] I never went out on them because it just didn’t feel right—the timing was wrong. I went out on this one because early on in the year, I saw some standup comedy at a Melbourne Comedy Festival, and I got nostalgic about being on stage. It reminded me of what it takes to be part of a live performance, and so when this Golden Boy audition came around, I thought, 'I’m going go and see if I can even do an audition.' I guess it worked out.”
A Trip Back: Strahovski’s big break in the states came in 2007 when she starred as Agent Sarah Lisa Walker in the NBC series Chuck. The role earned her a Teen Choice Award and jumpstarted her resume, which now includes Killer Elite with Robert De Niro, I, Frankenstein with Aaron Eckhart, a current role as deadly Hannah McKay on TV's Dexter and a small part in the Barbra Streisand/Seth Rogen comedy The Guilt Trip, which hits theaters on December 19. “It’s not often that you get to say ‘I’m going to work today with Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand.’ That’s definitely something to have ticked off my bucket list,” she says. “I play Seth’s high school sweetheart that he still has somewhat of an obsession with. It was a fun little bit, and he has one of the most amazing laughs I’ve ever heard!” As an in-demand actress, Strahovski doesn't get to head home very often. “I miss being in the Australian outdoors and the smell of the eucalyptus trees,” she says. “I used to spend a lot of time camping, rock climbing, and just going into the bush with a backpack and food, enjoying the wildlife. I haven’t done that in six years or so; I hope to one day take a break, go out there for two weeks and reconnect.”