Why Sofie From Stateless Looks So Familiar

There is a lot of incredible acting on display in the new Netflix limited series Stateless, which shouldn't be surprising considering the show was co-created by two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett. The series tells intersecting stories of people who become enmeshed in Australia's immigration system, either as detainees at a camp in the middle of the outback or as those who are responsible for keeping the system going. Perhaps one of the most intriguing of these people is Sofie, who is played by Yvonne Strahovski.

In many ways, Sofie is our entry point into the ensemble at the heart of Stateless. We first see her in the midst of a mental health crisis, dirty and running through the desert, before she is detained at the immigration center around which the series revolves under strange circumstances. It's a part that requires nuance and empathy, which Strahovski brings in spades.

If you've been captivated by Strahovski's performance on Stateless and are wondering where else you've seen the Aussie talent, we've got a break down of some of her most notable roles.

Yvonne Strahovski has a penchant for playing CIA agents

Strahovski may be Australian, but she had her big break in the US playing a CIA agent when she co-starred on the NBC action-comedy Chuck, about a slacker Best Buy employee (Zachary Levi) who accidentally has the entirety of the CIA's information database stored in his brain. Agent Sarah Walker (Strahovski) is assigned to monitor him, and it doesn't take long for the pair to develop a will-they-or-won't-they romantic dynamic.

Chuck came to Strahovski quickly. In an interview with Starlog Magazine, the actress described the whirlwind trip from Australia to Hollywood that ended with her being cast on the show: "I came [to the States] thinking I would stay for three months ... to get some experience and see how things were. I intended to come back a year later and maybe get lucky and land a job."

A few days after arriving, however, she reported, "I got a phone call saying that they had watched the tape I made for Chuck and wanted me to come in. By the end of the week, I had the job. It was pretty crazy."

Strahovski was clearly convincing enough in the role, because a few years later she got another gig playing a CIA agent, this time on 24: Live Another Day. On the one-off sequel to the espionage thriller, she played Kate Morgan, an agent who helps Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) thwart a series of terrorist attacks in London.

Dexter met his match when Yvonne Strahovski arrived in Miami

Chuck ended its five-season run in 2012, the same year Strahovski joined the cast of Showtime's Dexter. In a role that was a far cry from her stints as law enforcement agents, the actress played a woman named Hannah who was an accomplice to a spree killer when she was a teenager. Her experiences with murder lead her to form a romantic relationship with Dexter (Michael C. Hall) that continues throughout the series' final two seasons.

Strahovski explained her thoughts on Hannah's complexities to Collider: "In my mind, she was set up, at a very young age. She did some bad things, not entirely because it was her fault. I think she just got caught up in this romantic getaway with this guy, so she was set up for life, to be constantly running away from her dark past ... Anyone who got in the way of her trying to move on and have a happy life, she would eliminate because that was the only way she knew how and because the stakes were so high."

While she found ways to sympathize with Hannah, Strahovski has little nice to say about another character she plays who is known for her misdeeds.

Yvonne Strahovski is terrifying on The Handmaid's Tale

Hulu's horrifying dystopian drama The Handmaid's Tale is chockablock with monstrous characters. Few, however are as nuanced and frightening in their malicious actions as Serena Joy Waterford, played by Strahovski. As the wife of a commander in the government of Gilead, an ultra-right-wing dictatorship that enslaves fertile women to bear children for the mostly infertile ruling class, Serena Joy actively participates in the systems that brutally oppress her fellow women.

Actors who play detestable characters sometimes point to what makes them redeemable in interviews, but when asked by Backstage what she admires about Serena Joy, Strahovski bluntly stated, "I find her despicable ... Yes, she's a strong woman. She's powerful, she is smart, you could say all those things and maybe feel like there are some redeeming qualities there, but, really, when you step back and you look at the whole package, it just isn't redeeming at all."

Although Serena Joy is loathsome, critics have recognized the skillful way Strahovski brings her to life. She's received nominations from the Emmys, Screen Actor's Guild Awards, and Golden Globes for her work on The Handmaid's Tale. Fans of the show are also eager to see how her story evolves in the delayed, but still upcoming, fourth season.

Considering what a complex role she's playing on Stateless, it seems like Yvonne Stahovski is relishing the chance to take on challenging characters.