Yvonne Strahovski says she was thrilled to take a break from LA to make a movie on home turf.
As writer and star of the new film I Love You Too, Peter Helliar had a simple request for Aussie expatriate and co-star Yvonne Strahovski.
“I had to become a Collingwood fan,” Strahovski laughs from Los Angeles.
“That was his big thing and he tried to win over as many of us in the cast as he could. He loves that team.”
Strahovski was in Melbourne last year to shoot the comedy, which also stars Peter Dinklage, Brendan Cowell and Megan Gale.
On one of the cast’s first free weekends, Helliar took Strahovski to watch her first game of AFL.
“Pete took us to the game and I will say, it was quite an experience. I can’t remember who the other team was, I’m sorry to say,” she says.
“I’m not really a footy type of person but I loved it. It was just so good being back in Australia, getting back to my roots.”
Strahovski, 27, moved to Los Angeles three years ago to play CIA agent Sarah Walker in Chuck, an action-comedy series starring Zachary Levi.
When production of the third season of the show was in doubt, fans launched a two-month “Save Chuck” campaign and NBC renewed the show for another season, with an order of 13 more episodes that was soon extended to 19.
After living in Hollywood for three years, Strahovski says she was thrilled when she was given the chance to star in I Love You Too.
“I’m a Sydney girl, so getting the chance to shoot in Melbourne was like a holiday for me,” she says.
I’m here for the work opportunities. I’ll forever miss Australia every day. I miss my friends and being out on the Aussie beaches but I have learnt to love it here.
Strahovski was born in Campbelltown to Polish migrant parents and went to Santa Sabina College in Strathfield before graduating from the University of Western Sydney.
Before filming for I Love You Too started in Melbourne, Strahovski had one must-visit place on her list.
She hired a car and drove to see the Twelve Apostles along Victoria’s Great Ocean Road.
“I took a trip before we started shooting because the Twelve Apostles was something I knew I had to go and see,” she says.
While in Melbourne, Strahovski says, she loved going to St Kilda beach and the cafes and restaurants along Acland Street.
“I just love the culture of Melbourne,” she says. “I was really grateful to be there. It’s very down to earth and I love all the cafes and how you can just walk around.”
It was a change of pace for Strahovski, who is used to driving the freeways of Los Angeles and working 75-hour weeks for the taping of Chuck.
“It’s like a different planet over here, especially Hollywood,” she says.
“It took me a while to get used to it. I was very unfamiliar with LA and it kind of scared me and excited me at the same time when I got here. It took a long time for me to finally feel settled. I’ve been here just over three years and I think I’m only just feeling settled now.”
When she’s not working, Strahovski says she goes on hikes in the canyons near her home and is getting used to life in the City of Angels.
“I think I’ll stay here for a while,” she says. “I’m here for the work opportunities. I’ll forever miss Australia every day. I miss my friends and being out on the Aussie beaches but I have learnt to love it here.”
Strahovski says her character in I Love You Too, Alice, was a change of pace from Sarah Walker, as Alice is “very normal, has a normal job and, like most girls, wants to meet the right guy and settle down, have a family“.
As for when that will happen for Strahovski, she laughs: “Maybe one day.”
The actor, who averages one trip back to Australia each year, hopes to return for the film’s premiere.
“I’ve heard there’s a chance I may get back in late April. I really hope that happens, so I can see everyone and get back home.”
The Sunday Morning Herald, 2010.