Luke Stambouliah

Whether it’s a serial killer or a legendary creature, actress YVONNE STRAHOVSKI takes on venerable opponents one role at a time.

When Yvonne Strahovski arrived in Hollywood nearly seven years ago, she had one suitcase and a return ticket home to Australia. Three days later, she earned a role on the action drama/comedy Chuck and, needless to say, the return ticket never got used.

After a successful five-season run on the cult hit, Strahovski moved on to play a love interest (with demons of her own) of Michael C. Hall’s serial killer in seasons seven and eight of Dexter. During season seven, she even found time to make her Broadway debut in the show Golden Boy.

This month, she’ll play a modern-day counterpart to Mary Shelley’s Dr. Victor Frankenstein alongside Aaron Eckhart and Bill Nighy in the film I, Frankenstein. “I’ve felt really lucky post-Chuck. It’s been a really great run of doing I, Frankenstein. And then, getting invited to be a part of Dexter — which was an amazing experience — and then going on to do Broadway in New York, and then coming back to Dexter. I feel like I’ve had the best of all three worlds.”

Strahovski isn’t one to just sit back and let life happen. “It’s not an ­accident that I’ve been doing these different types of roles and genres. I like to change it up and do different things. I like to be challenged. If I read something and I’m really scared of doing it, then I know I should do it.”

The variety also contributes to her fans’ surprise when they learn she is, in fact, Aussie, thanks to her convincing portrayal of Americans on Dexter and Chuck (she will portray a Brit in I, Frankenstein). “I did theater school for three years at the University of Western Sydney, and we did a lot of accent-study work there,” she explains. “Also, I feel it’s easy for any Australian to launch into an American accent because we’re so saturated with American film and television there.”

Strahovski says she wants to continue taking on challenges, which means more Broadway. “I’ve been doing theater since I was 12 years old. It is very much a part of my heart and soul.”

She also hopes to do a period piece and work with Tom Hanks some day. “I’ve had a crush on Tom Hanks since I was a kid,” she laughs. “Everyone was always in love with Brad Pitt, but I was the girl with the Tom Hanks posters.”