Killer Elite’s Yvonne Strahovski
HOMETOWN: Sydney, NSW.
BIRTHDAY: July 30, 1982.
PARTY SPOT: Las Vegas. “I get bored gambling, but I love dancing. Last time I went I pulled an all-nighter.”
SIGNATURE DRINK: “Tequila on the rocks with a splash of fresh pineapple juice and fresh lime.”
TIME WASTER: Angry Birds. “I’m obsessed. I have all my watermelons and three stars in all the seasons, which I think is impressive.”
GUILTY PLEASURE: [TV show about children’s beauty pageants] Toddlers & Tiaras. “It’s pretty educational… That’s my way of justifying it.”
LAST MEAL: “Sugar cookies, Krispy Kreme doughnuts, and a jar of Nutella. Just a mass hit of sugar.”
There are precious few actresses with the acting and action chops to stand up to big boys Robert De Niro and Jason Statham. Yvonne Strahovski is one of them. Playing a farm girl who gets caught up in a web of violence in Killer Elite, she adds some much-needed sexiness to an otherwise testosterone-heavy movie. Yvonne, who left Australia to play a dorky spy’s CIA contact in TV show Chuck, has more than just looks and talent. Just check out her three-in-one parody of Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and Ke$ha on the College Humor comedy website to witness the dazzling, down-to-earth Aussie’s (literally – she’s from Sydney’s beachside suburb Maroubra) sick sense of humour
They say you’ve only truly made it in Hollywood if you call Robert De Niro “Bob.” Did you?
I’ve called him Bob, so I guess I’ll tick that one off the bucket list.
How was meeting him?
I just knocked on his trailer door and there he was! I felt like a kid in a candy store – I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.
Is Jason Statham a total badarse?
No, he’s not Mr Tough Guy or anything. He’s not ready to punch someone at all times.
As far as love interests go, you could do worse than him.
Yes, you certainly could! But we sort of had a brother-sister thing going on, which is gross, because we play lovers in Killer Elite.
Clive Owen also stars, although we were more interested in his LOL-worthy moustache than his performance. We’ve gotta know: Do women dig a mo?
I could be wrong, but I don’t know if the females dig the moustache. And this is one of those, you know, especially ’80s moustaches.
Your character works on a farm. Is that how you grew up?
Yes and no. I grew up in the suburbs of Sydney, but I spent lots of time in the bush, hiking and rock climbing and running around. So those scenes were very much in my comfort zone.
When you talk about “the bush” do Americans make cracks about needing a Brazilian wax?
Or an anti-Brazilian…
Thought so. Moving on, what’s the biggest stereotype you’ve encountered about Australians?
People think there are kangaroos hopping around in the city, which, as you know, isn’t the case. They do, but only in… the bush. There’s that word again! I’m really not trying to carry on the joke, but the thing I miss most about Australia is the bush.
You’d better be careful, because that’s gonna be the quote that ends up right next to your picture.
Oh, no! OK, I miss the “Australian forest”. How’s that?
Much better. What else do you miss about your homeland?
I love Tim Tams but I’m not eating sugar these days, so I can’t have them. There are so many Australian chocolates that I love but I can’t eat anymore. I live vicariously when I come home – I watch people eat them. Or I’ll sniff them to get my fix. Wow, this interview is sounding worse and worse. All I’m talking about is sniffing and bush.
How is it sounding worse? You kick butt on Chuck, the TV show about a geek-turned-spy. Do you have a martial arts background?
Not really, but I was a dancer from five till about 18, and it helps you remember the choreography. I did have to strengthen my moves a bit so they weren’t so balletic.
It looks like a pretty fun role to play.
Yeah, Chuck is a comedy-action-drama-romance, and I feel like I get to play one of the best female characters on TV.
Have you ever gotten any strange gifts from overzealous fans?
I once got sent an MP3 player with Bible movies on it.
Yeah. It was accompanied by a Bible as well, I think. I’ve also received some pretty interesting poetry. Like, nine pages of typed rhyming poetry from someone who was in love with me – and also an American football team. So the poetry would alternate between me and then the football team and then me again…
Creepy! However, anyone who can rhyme with Strahovski must be pretty skilled. On Chuck, you fall for a geek. Is that what you like or are you more about the Statham-esque types?
I’m into a mix of both. I like a suave dude with some geek.
You did a great boozy puke when you played Ke$ha in that College Humor video last year. Was that from experience?
No, I’m not really big on the throwing-up thing. I have a trick before it gets to that level, and that is to eat bread. If I’m feeling a little woozy, it makes everything better.
Keeping with K-E-dollar sign-HA, are you a fan of pop tunes?
They’re my favourite. Anything I can sing along to – you know, Katy Perry, Lady GaGa, all that stuff. When I dance, I do this thing called the Scissor Move, which is hard to explain but it’s like a simultaneous body roll with rotating scissor arm movements. My feet stay planted, though.
You’re right, that is hard to explain. Anyway, your family is from Poland and you can speak fluent Polish. Have you ever been wooed in your native tongue?
I’ve spent enough time there for it to have happened but I can’t say I’ve ever been picked-up in Polish.
For shame, Polish brothers. Have a go!
For the full feature and images grab the March 2012 issue of MAXIM Australia.
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