Yvonne Strahovski On Being Wrapped In Plastic: "It Didn't Feel Claustrophobic"

Via: usatoday.com: We all know Hollywood's hooker with a heart of gold. Turns out that sexy small-screen serial killers can have a squishy side, too.

Exhibit A: Hannah McKay on this season of Showtime's Dexter (the finale airs Dec. 16, 9 p.m. ET/PT), a flower and plant peddler who serves up her poisoned potions with a peekaboo bra and a smile. Hannah's creator is Aussie actress Yvonne Strahovski, who transitioned from sassy spy (Chuck) to kindhearted killer by studying the savants of the genre, including Dexter himself, Michael C. Hall, "and how he constructs this amazingly likable character that ordinarily you wouldn't root for." (A newly-cast Strahovski, not yet a Dexter disciple, pored over the previous six seasons in three weeks.)

Some might see Hannah's sweetness as manipulative — the cops at Miami Metro certainly do. But Strahovski also turned to the pinnacle of big-screen prostitute-cum-murderer to inject sympathy into her character: Charlize Theron as Aileen Wuornos in Monster. "At the end (of the movie), your heart breaks for her as her heart is breaking," says Strahovski, 30. "Through that performance, you feel she didn't do anything to be malicious; she's just trying to survive in her own way. I think that's sort of Hannah's deal." read the whole article, after the jump...

But first she had to survive Dexter's table. And being wrapped in plastic. "It didn't feel claustrophobic," Strahovski insists. "At most, it's a little uncomfortable and you get a little hot and sweaty."

Speaking of steamy, that scene where the kill table turns into a tryst table for Hannah and Dex? Strahovski says it was "definitely" the most intimate she's stripped down for work. "No. 1, I was on the kill table, which is sort of its own confronting. Then being naked and doing a sex scene, it's a whole sort of other level of confronting and (feeling) vulnerable."

Hall's expertise when it comes to getting in flagrante delicto on set helped. "I felt like I was in good, comfortable hands," Strahovski says. "No pun intended," she laughs.

Yes, Hall is "an intense guy" but his co-star insists filming wasn't all demonic dads and dark passengers. "I like to be a little jokey at times and we sort of had a lot of fun in between scenes," she says. "I am constantly in awe of Debra (Dexter's lieutenant sister, played by Jennifer Carpenter) and their dynamic."

And no, Strahovski says it's not awkward on set, Hall and Carpenter's off-screen relationship notwithstanding (the two were married from 2008 to 2011). "Everyone is very happy and loving toward each other."

Strahovski won't dish on her own dating status — "I'm going to keep that a mystery" — but she will say that when it comes to Dexter v. Chuck types, she's drawn to "a lovely combination or balance of both: a little bit of danger with a little bit of nerd."

There's no mystery as to how the suburban Sydney native nails such a convincing American accent: a childhood spent attending drama school and watching American movies and TV. "I was obsessed with Dawson's Creek, which was really funny because when I ran into Josh Jackson at Comic Con (a few years ago), I was such a nerd and went up to him and said, 'I really liked you in Dawson's Creek.' He kind of laughed."

This fall, however, Strahovski has had to master an accent trickier than sweet Florida woman with a checkered past: 1930s New Yorker. It's for her co-starring role in the Broadway revival of the Clifford Odets drama Golden Boy, which opened Dec. 6 at the Belasco Theater, the same stage where the play premiered 75 years ago (Strahovski's part, Lorna, was made famous by the legendary Frances Farmer). Working in the same space, there's "sort of a ghostly feel about it," Strahovski says.

Also on Strahovski's 2012 resume: the Christmas Day comedy film The Guilt Trip, alongside Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen (next fall comes the horror/thriller I, Frankenstein with Aaron Eckhart) and — a No. 35 ranking on Maxim's Hot 100. "It makes me giggle more than anything," Strahovski says about the, uh, honor. "I am a goofball, so being on that list is kind of ironic to me."

Still, she has high hopes for the future: "Maybe one day I will make it to No. 1, and then I can celebrate with a bottle of Champagne."

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