With the series currently airing on OSN, Time Out catches up with Yvonne Strahovski who plays Kate Morgan, the CIA agent tasked with bringing in Jack Bauer.
‘Your article’s going to be titled “An interview with Yvonne Strahovski’s parents … and Yvonne Strahovski’” laughs Yvonne Strahovski. It’s not the worst suggestion in the world.
Strahovski is speaking to Time Out in a hotel about 24: Live Another Day. The ninth instalment of Kiefer Sutherland’s Jack Bauer franchise features the Australian actress as CIA agent Kate Morgan, who is tasked with capturing Bauer. In the series, she proves to be an excellent agent and an admirable foil to Bauer. Every operative knows that family and friends are the weakness to be exploited by the opposition, though. As such, it is somewhat surprising to have 15 informal minutes to spend with Strahovski’s parents prior to our chat.
To paint the picture, press tours typically take place in hotels. Atypically on this occasion the holding room does not contain other journalists, but Peter and Bozena Strzechowski, Yvonne’s mum and dad (she changed her name to the phonetic spelling when she joined the cast of Chuck). It’s clear she has a huge fondness for them – they initially followed Yvonne to LA after she landed her role on Chuck within a week of landing (at least that’s how mum tells it). ‘It will be eight years in February that I’ve been in the States,’ says Yvonne. ‘I didn’t really imagine what was going to lie ahead. But it’s funny that I now know how to use a gun because of those action roles.’
The action training paid dividends when she came to star opposite Sutherland. ‘In a way I felt I did feel very comfortable walking on that set. I’ve been involved in many a stunt and fight scene and now I’ve used lots of guns. And I’ve been a dancer since the age of five, so fight scenes were like a dance to me. I knew I didn’t have to prepare. It was great to be able to focus on Kate Morgan, the character, and what I wanted to bring to the table.’
Now she’s focused on New Orleans. Before shooting a movie in New York at the end of the year (Manhattan Nocturn with Adrian Brody), she will star in Astronaut Wives Club. ‘It’s a ten-part mini-series, based on a book about the wives of the astronauts in the ’60s. For the first time I am playing a lady who is actually alive: Rene Carpenter [wife of Mercury astronaut Scott Carpenter]. She’s in her 80s and lives in Colorado now.’
The step away from action is a calculated one for the actress, who is keen to ensure she isn’t typecast. ‘I like to change it up. I’ve been in a spy comedy, I’ve played a serial killer, I’ve done a Broadway debut since – which is huge – playing a 1930s Jersey girl.’ The show was Golden Boy, and for her efforts, she won a Theatre World Award for best debut. As her father points out, Tom Hanks was one of the other 11 actors honoured with the same award that year.
‘It is a very thrilling, terrifying and rewarding experience to do Broadway. Especially when you haven’t done theatre for six or seven years. I trained in theatre and I had my own theatre company.’
24: Live Another Day airs now on OSN First HD.