L’Officiel Monte Carlo & Australia | Interview

Congratulations on the latest releases of The Tomorrow War and The Handmaid’s Tale. In The Tomorrow War, we see the world is stunned when a group of time travelers arrives from the year 2051 to deliver an urgent message: “Thirty years in the future mankind is losing a global war against a deadly alien species.” The Tomorrow War is also focused on another subject that has fascinated the writers and readers alike since Enrique Gaspar’s “El Anacronópete”, 1887 and HG Wells’ “The Time Machine”, 1895 – time travel. Your character plays a prominent role when it comes to science in the future, do you think your character was also related to the discovery of time travel?
Possibly, though she does specify around the time that the character gets introduced that she has a PhD in Biotechnology with an emphasis in genomics and immunology. So, maybe!

The movie also touches on the Butterfly Effect of time travel with directly relates to your character. Are you as fascinated by Science Fiction when it’s getting so realistic and probable, at least through the eyes of the films these days?
I am fascinated and amazed by it, but more so through the likes of articles. I recently went down an A.I. rabbit hole and was amazed (and slightly concerned) to learn about just how much technology is out there on it – often not really in our control. Once you give A.I. the power to think by itself, it does. And humans don’t necessarily know what these super computers are doing.
When I’m watching movies I’m more interested in the alien aspect of it. The Tomorrow War is 100% percent a movie I would choose to watch – and I don’t get to watch too many.

Your other release is a Season 4 tv series adaptation of the novel by Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale – the story of life in the dystopian Republic of Gilead. Your character Serena Joy / Mrs. Waterford is a major character, finds herself captured in Canada. Where would we see her progress towards the finale?
This season Serena is doing everything she can to get out of detention in Canada and out into the real Canadian world with her baby. She uses anyone she can to her advantage, especially Fred & Mark Tuello. She is as manipulative as ever but with a new flare for freedom – whether she is conscious about it or not.

Do you think there is a chance for her to switch sides from Gilead to the US/Canada?
I don’t think she wants to go back to Gilead. Pretty sure she would be hung for her crimes of selling herself and Fred out to the Canadian government. Or they would make her a handmaid. Now that she is, in fact, a fertile woman with child.

Are you excited that the show is green-lit for Season 5?
I am excited to see where Serena’s story goes, especially if it is a whole new world in Canada. I can see her becoming a political figure with a following there and picking up where she left off pre-Gilead and writing books about her points of view.

You are versatile as an actor transforming easily between protagonist and antagonist characters while keeping the audience thrilled by your ability to find reasons to like your characters nonetheless. What is your acting secret?
That is very kind, thank you! I just really, really, REALLY enjoy doing a deep dive into the complexities of the human psyche and the grey area that a lot of human behavior plays out in. I am fascinated by the many shades of emotions we have as humans and how they propel us forward, along with our deep intuitive knowledge.

Playing characters on both sides of the spectrum brought you an Emmy Nomination for The Handmaid’s Tale, an AACTA Award for Best Actress in Stateless (ABC/Netflix) among other Awards and Nominations. How do you choose your projects especially when it comes to tv series when you have to be vested in your character for a number of years?
I look at the character I am going to play – how different it is from anything I have done before, how I can deep dive with the character in ways I perhaps have not as an actress before, and what does the character represent on a more global level. I also look at the writing and who will be involved in the making of the project as well as the overriding themes in the project and what it might be saying about human society and the world we live in.

While your latest projects are all dystopian, you are a proponent of protecting the environment. Do you think we as a society over-consume especially at the expense of public welfare and environmental protection? What do you think needs to be implemented in order to protect the environment and not end up in actual dystopian reality?
We definitely over consume. I think the bigger and more urgent problem though is that we lack the protections for our earth that we actually need to survive as a human species ourselves.
I find it unreal that a) that fact is lost on a lot of people and b) leaders have not prioritized heavy protections for our oceans and rainforests and focused on re adjusting our agriculture industries to actually be more sustainable and planet friendly. There is so much hope out there and many people coming up with real and livable solutions but yet the implementation of these seems to be at a snail’s pace. We are running out of time & biodiversity. If we lose our biodiversity and the habitats they live in (ocean/rainforest) we lose us.

As we all faced a difficult pandemic, how did you stay motivated and keep in touch with your friends and family?
I am away a lot for work, often in different cities or countries away from my dearest. So I’m well attuned to using facetime to keep in touch with family and besties. That part didn’t feel that much different.
But to combat the void that needed to be filled with seeing my nearest and dearest in person, my husband and son and I organized various distanced camping trips outdoor in nature. We could be distanced, spaced out as we sat around a campfire, and everyone would just bring their own food. Those are some of my best memories.

You love to explore natural environments and national parks. Can you tell us the most memorable places you visited?
Zion, horseshoe bend, Lake Powell, Yosemite, Yellowstone, basically anything in Utah & Arizona, Joshua Tree – the list goes on. My list is even longer for where I’m yet to go!

If you had a chance to give your younger self a piece of advice, what it would be?
Relax honey, it’s going to be ok.

Source: lofficielmontecarlo.com

Person of Interest: ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Star Yvonne Strahovski Makes Leap to Sci-Fi Action Hero in ‘Tomorrow War’

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A week after sending an audition tape for an American dramedy, Chuck, in 2007, Australia-born actress Yvonne Strahovski received a call saying she’d landed one of the lead roles, a CIA agent, in the pilot. She booked a round-trip flight to Los Angeles but would never use the return ticket.

“Lo and behold, one thing led to another, and that was that. Here we are 14 years later,” says Strahovski, 38. Her career can be described as a steady trajectory of success, including The Handmaid’s Tale — season four wraps June 16 — and The Tomorrow War, which marks her first starring role in a big-budget popcorn pic. In the film, out July 2 on Amazon, Strahovski brings Sigourney Weaver-esque nerves of steel to her role (opposite Chris Pratt) as an alien-battling scientist.

Strahovski — who followed Chuck with a turn on Dexter as the titular serial killer’s girlfriend — largely eschews the Hollywood spotlight. “I just love the outdoors and camping,” says the actress, adding that she and her husband and their young son “took some of the best family nature trips that I’ve ever had” during pandemic-induced downtime.

It was her casting on Hulu’s Handmaid’s Tale that garnered the actress her first Emmy nomination (in 2018) for her star turn as the villainous but complicated Serena Joy Waterford, who finds the tables flipped on her in the latest season. “Serena is definitely villain-flavored but with a twist,” says Strahovski. “It’s always been interesting to watch June [Elisabeth Moss’ character] and Serena in opposition to each other. They are two women living in an oppressive society at opposite ends of the spectrum.” And that’s set to continue when Handmaid’s returns for season five.

In building her career, “I’ve really fought for the opportunities that come about where I’m not pigeonholed. I’m thrilled with the sort of scope I’ve been given,” says the actress, who starred last year in the Australian limited series Stateless as a woman unlawfully detained under Australia’s controversial mandatory detention program for all non-citizens without valid visas.

Growing up, Strahovski made home movies as a tween with her dad’s camera — her parents were Polish immigrants — and starred in high school plays before attending the Theatre Nepean, an actor-training institution at the University of Western Sydney.

The calm, collected actress isn’t worked up over the fact that The Tomorrow War isn’t getting a big-screen release. Paramount and Skydance were set to open the sci-fi epic in theaters last year but had to delay its release because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the meantime, Amazon Studios picked up the movie in a megadeal valued at $200 million.

“So much has evolved during the pandemic. In a lot of ways, it might actually have more eyeballs on it because people can watch it at home,” she says. “I feel like people are really aching for something of this kind of movie that has such an old-school kind of super action. We’ve been in isolation for the past year, and there’s this cool theme in the film about all of us coming together and standing up for one common goal, which is a really cool parallel between what we’ve been all experiencing in real life.”

Source: hollywoodreporter.com

The Handmaid’s Tale’s Yvonne Strahovski On What’s Next For Serena

Spoilers for season 4 episode 10 of The Handmaid’s Tale, “The Wilderness,” below.

In a jaw-dropping season 4 finale, one of The Handmaid’s Tale’s most prominent villains gets his long-overdue comeuppance. It’s been obvious for a while now that Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) wasn’t long for the world; unlike his wife Serena Joy (Yvonne Strahovski), he didn’t have much of a strategic brain, instead seeming to think he could walk into a comfortable post-Gilead life in Canada despite his war crimes. But he learns a lethal lesson in the closing moments of the season, as ally after ally (Mark Tuello, Commander Lawrence, and even Nick) betray him to June (Elisabeth Moss). As Fred begs for mercy, June leads a pack of ex-Handmaids in a Salvaging against the disgraced Commander. After hanging him on “the Wall,” she mails Serena his wedding ring—and one of his fingers.

With Fred out of the picture, Serena’s future looks more uncertain than ever. She can’t go back to Gilead after Fred betrayed the regime, and, as she noted in a recent episode, without the privilege conferred by being a Commander’s wife, she could become a Handmaid. But staying in Canada is also perilous, with June now on the vengeful warpath and Serena’s baby due any day.

“The knowledge that June was the one who ripped [Fred] apart, that’s the scary part for Serena,” Strahovski tells ELLE.com. “That’s the biggest threat. And if she goes out into the real world and gets released, especially if she gets to keep her baby, that’s the part that will constantly have her living in fear. To Serena, June is capable of anything, including ripping Serena or her baby to shreds.”

Below, Strahovski digs into the impact of Fred’s death, what Serena’s next calculated move could be, and the complex relationship and uncomfortable parallels between June and Serena.

I’m getting the sense that everybody involved in the show is just thrilled to see Fred go, including Joseph. Is that how you felt when you heard this was going to happen?
It was, but honestly, my jaw was on the floor when I read it. I’m slightly biased because I’ve spent so much time with Joe, and he is the nicest guy ever. I mean, our families know each other! So it was also sad for me to be reading it, just as a friend of Joe’s, to know that he’s going. I remember shooting my last scene with him at work, and then it was wrap time, and I couldn’t help but cry.

It felt like Serena was trying to make a clean break from Fred at the end of last season, but then the pregnancy changed all of that. What is the nature of Fred and Serena’s relationship at this point?
If I have to put a headline to it, it would be “business transaction.” I think for the first little bit, she wasn’t going to use Fred at all—she was still thinking for the longest time that she would get off and not need him. But then with the arrival of June and everything else, she realized that she really did need to make a business transaction with him and move forward to solidify her chances of being free. But I don’t think there was any kind of love there. Nothing can be really saved between them at this point.

It also feels like she becomes a bit conscious of what she and Fred represent as a unified front in the public eye, right?
Yeah, exactly. It’s solidified when they walk out into the crowd and realize they have a fanbase in the real world in Canada. It’s those kinds of things that Serena takes away, puts in her back pocket, and realizes she can use to her advantage down the line if she needs to. And that means transactionally sticking by Fred’s side for a little bit and wearing that teal dress as he so irritatingly tells her to do.

Before we get into the finale, I want to talk about that scene in episode 7, where June finally gets to let loose on Serena and just scream at her. That was such a cathartic scene to watch, but what do you think is going on for Serena in that moment?
I thought a lot about that scene in the lead up to it. My initial thought was that Serena wouldn’t really be that emotional, that she’d be a bit more arrogant in her reaction just to piss off June even more. But I think the emotion is both a mixture of genuine emotion and also manipulation. Because Serena really does need June to forgive her, predominantly because she really does fear that her baby might be born unhealthy, or be taken away from her; that God will strike her baby down. She has that belief embedded in her, both from Gilead and from her own personal religious beliefs.

I was definitely surprised at first that Serena was so deferential and emotional, but that makes sense. It’s not that she’s genuinely feeling the weight of what she’s done to June.
She’s also aware that June’s a lost cause to her. There’s no salvaging any kind of friendship that they might have had an inkling for in an earlier season. Whereas with Rita, it was a different story. She thought she could really manipulate Rita back into some kind of a power dynamic, where Serena is, of course, the one in power, by pretending that everything’s great and fine and dandy. But she knows June’s much too savvy for that nonsense.

Full interview: elle.com

Handmaid’s Tale’s Yvonne Strahovski: Serena ‘Will Know in Her Heart’ That June Was Behind Finale Shocker

Warning: This post contains spoilers for The Handmaid’s Tale‘s Season 4 finale. May the Lord open!

The Handmaid’s Tale‘s Serena Joy Waterford is many things, but a fool is not one of them.

So when she eventually learns what the rest of us do at the end of the Season 4 finale — that Fred Waterford has gone to that great commander’s council in the sky — it won’t take long before she zeroes in on a certain former handmaid who might’ve been involved.

“I can’t imagine that not crossing her mind,” Yvonne Strahovski, who plays the aforementioned commander’s wife, tells TVLine. “I can imagine June purposely telling Serena about it, because she wants Serena to live in absolute fear.” (Check out what Elisabeth Moss and showrunner Bruce Miller had to say about the hour.)

When we talked with Strahovski about the events of the season-ending episode (read a recap), we covered a lot of ground — what Serena did and didn’t know, the Putnams’ visit, Mrs. Waterford’s future — but of course, we kicked off the conversation with…

TVLINE | My condolences on your loss.
Oh! [Laughs] Thank you.

TVLINE | We’ll get to Fred in a moment, but let’s backup to when the Putnams visited. Do you think that was the first time that Serena really considered that she and/or the baby might wind up back in Gilead?
Yes. I do. I think it definitely was a massive reality check for her, to have a big piece of Gilead come in to her, to meet her and visit her, and for her to realize that. The way that Naomi was speaking to Serena — and then, obviously, she knew what Warren Putnam had said to Fred — it was very much a manipulative visit on their part, which was definitely noted by Serena. The severity of the situation really hit home for her.

TVLINE | It was shocking to me that, even as a detainee in Canada, she has way more freedom than a non-detainee woman in Gilead.
Yeah. Which I think gave her the confidence to embrace it a bit more, and indulge in her relationship with Mark Tuello, and indulge in putting her foot down a little bit more with Fred. And indulge in her mind [about] what it means, what the finish line could really be for her.

TVLINE | Do you think that Serena has any inkling or suspicion that Fred might not make it to Geneva?
No. I think she thinks that that is what will happen, for sure. I can see her perhaps concocting a plan that maybe she’ll try and figure him out later, as in maybe she’ll take him to court personally or something. I don’t know. I’m just kind of thinking out loud, because you made me think of it. But other than that, no. I think she thinks he’s going to Geneva, that this is actually happening.

TVLINE | Do you think Serena has it in her to build a future where she can maintain the status that she and Fred have achieved, only without him around?
One thousand percent. Oh yeah. I feel like she’s got that planned out in her brain already. She’s always five steps ahead in some way, shape or form…

I can see her becoming a political figure, and having success with her fan club in Canada, or something, you know? [She could] keep preaching what she used to preach, pre-Gilead. I can see her totally taking control, and being that person. But then again, I really think the fear of God is going to be put into her when she finds out what’s happened.

TVLINE | Do you think, once Serena finds out that Fred is dead, she’ll have any suspicion that June was involved?
Yes. I feel like she’ll know in her heart. They know each other so well, I can’t imagine that not crossing her mind… I can imagine June purposely telling Serena about it, because she wants Serena to live in absolute fear, if and when she gets out of the detention center. I mean, could you imagine?

If you knew that someone was out there, outside, capable of doing something like that to your husband or your partner, and then, you’re trying to live out in the real world, with a baby? I just think that is the most paranoid existence you could ever live, knowing that June has done what she’s done.

Source: tvline.com