Entertainment Celebrity Australian Handmaid’s Tale star Yvonne Strahovksi scores first Emmy nod
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Australian Handmaid’s Tale star Yvonne Strahovksi scores first Emmy nod

Elisabeth Moss Yvonne Strahovski
Co-stars Elisabeth Moss and Yvonne Strahovski at The Handmaid's Tale Hulu finale in Los Angeles on July 9, 2018. Photo: Getty
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Australian Yvonne Strahovski has scored her first Emmy nomination ahead of better-known compatriots Nicole Kidman and Naomi Watts for her first Emmy nomination.

“I can’t stop smiling. My face hurts,” the Sydney-born actress told Vulture after the nominations were announced.

Strahovski’s nod for her turn as Serena Joy Waterford in season two of The Handmaid’s Tale will pit her in the dramatic supporting actress category against co-stars Alexis Bledel and Ann Dowd.

Also nominated in Strahovski’s category: Lena Headey (Game of Thrones), Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things), Thandie Newton (Westworld) and Vanessa Kirby (The Crown).

“I’m so happy to have been part of this,” Strahovski, 35, told Vulture of Handmaid’s.

Kidman, who won last year’s Emmy for outstanding lead actress playing an abused wife in Big Little Lies, was snubbed in 2018 for her acclaimed performance in Top of the Lake: China Girl.

Watts also missed out for her roles in Twin Peaks and Gypsy when nominations were announced on Thursday (US time.)

The 70th Emmy Awards ceremony will be held in Los Angeles on September 17.

In Handmaid’s, Strahovski plays an infertile woman desperate to have a baby, but in real life the actress is pregnant with her first child.

She and her actor husband Tim Loden announced the news on Instagram in mid-May.

“I’ve been dying to talk about it,” Strahovski told Australian Vogue  in its July issue.

Being pregnant herself is “a little scary,” she said, citing the political landscape and gun violence in America.

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned, but I also have faith in the people I surround myself with and the ideals I have.”

According to Vogue, Strahovski is no typical Hollywood star, and certainly her Instagram feed is filled with photos of mountains, clouds and animals rather than red carpet events or selfies.

She loves the outdoors and after marrying Loden on a hot California day last year, jumped fully clothed with her new husband into a lake to cool off.

When it was time to shoot season two of Handmaid’s, the couple chose not to drive to Toronto, Canada, instead driving cross-country with their dogs with camping, fishing and hiking stops along the way.

Those outdoor passions will “always be a love of mine,” Strahovski said.
“Just getting out, getting on the road and doing whatever I want, with no plans. It’ll be interesting to see how that goes [post-baby].”

The Los Angeles-based actress has been in Melbourne shooting Luke Davies’ psychological thriller Angel of Mine, the first time in three years she has been home to Australia.

While her American accent now seems natural, Strahovski grew up in Sydney’s Maroubra, the only child of Polish immigrants.

A childhood love of acting and dancing saw her study theatre at the University of Western Sydney before finding small role in local television dramas including 2004’s Double the Fist.

Three days after making the decision to move to Los Angeles in search of Hollywood fame, she landed the role of Sarah Walker in American comedy series Chuck, which ran for five years.

Since then, she’s played a serial killer on TV series Dexter, a 1950s wife in The Astronaut Wives Club and a mother to a troubled boy in upcoming film The Predator.

When she landed the role of Serena Joy, Strahovski hadn’t read Margaret’s Atwood’s 1985 novel The Handmaid’s Tale but “I found her quite mesmerising”, she said of the character.

“All that loneliness, bitterness and emotional instability were the first things I noticed … I loved the complexity of her and the rest of the characters,” she told Vogue.