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Why Emily From The Predator Looks So Familiar

The Predator in 2018 was the fourth overall film in the Predator franchise. But while it performed well at the box office out of the gate and brought back the non-stop action the franchise is known for, it was also the most expensive film in the series and an overall financial failure. It did perform well enough to get an upcoming sequel. But if the rumors are true, Predator 5 won't continue the story set in the present day but instead will be set either in Civil War-era America or pre-colonial America and will star an indigenous woman.

So, any cast members whose characters survived The Predator probably won't be appearing in the next film, even though The Predator does end on a cliffhanger. At the end of The Predator, Rory McKenna, son of protagonist Quinn McKenna, grows up and becomes a military researcher devoted to stopping the Predator threat. Rory's mother Emily also survives the film, but fans will have to wait for the continuation of the McKenna family's story, if that ever happens. 

Emily was played by Yvonne Strahovski, and the role of "protective mother" is a bit different from the roles she normally gets. While her résumé shows she's no stranger to the action and sci-fi genres, she's known for playing morally compromised characters who are nevertheless sympathetic. Fans of prestige TV no doubt recognize Strahovski from many of her roles, but here's what she's most well-known for.

Yvonne Strahovski plays one of the most evil characters on TV

Most fans will recognize Strahovski from The Handmaid's Tale and her role as Serena Joy Waterford, wife of Commander Fred Waterford and longtime tormentor of the show's main character, Offred/June. As the spouse of one of the architects of Gilead's Handmaid program, Serena Joy begins the series fully onboard with Gilead's coercive procreation policy, at least outwardly. In seasons 2 and 3, it slowly becomes clear that Serena Joy is trapped much like June is, and she becomes disenchanted by Gilead and its ways, losing a finger in the process. By the end of season 3, she defects to Canada.

In interviews, Strahovski often says how different she is from Serena Joy in real life and that it can be difficult to find sympathy for her charatcter. "She is so harsh on paper, and I wanted to find her inner emotional struggle within that," Strahovski told Vanity Fair in 2017. "It was important to me to really try and put her heart in there somewhere."

Serena isn't the first complex character she's played. Strahovski has said she's drawn to these roles, both because of the acting challenge and to avoid being pigeonholed.

Yvonne Strahovski gave Dexter a run for his money

Before The Handmaid's Tale, Strahovski appeared on 17 episodes of the Showtime series Dexter. She played another complicated character, serial killer and Dexter's love interest Hannah McKay. Like Serena Joy, Hannah is capable of monstrous acts, but her ultimate culpability remains a question. Hannah's career as a murderer began with a multi-state killing spree with her boyfriend when she was 15. When she was caught, it was determined she was an accomplice. But in later years, Hannah isn't above killing to get what she wants. When Hannah joined Dexter's seventh and eighth seasons in 2012 and 2013, her character took the story in a new direction. While Dexter got to have a family before with Rita, Hannah was Dexter's first romantic partner who was truly his equal, morally speaking. Although their relationship doesn't work out, Hannah does end up adopting Dexter's son, Harrison.

As with Serena Joy, the challenge with playing Hannah McKay was finding the humanity. "I was always justifying why she was doing the things she was doing. In my mind, she was set up, at a very young age," Strahovski told Collider in 2013. "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."

Yvonne Strahovski's first American role was on Chuck

Most American viewers probably first saw the Australia native on Chuck, the NBC action-comedy spy series that ran from 2007 to 2012. Strahovski played Sarah Walker, the ultra-competent CIA Agent who was a counterpoint to the inexperienced Chuck Bartkowski. Although the role was intended to be comedic foil and eventually a love interest for the main character, Strahovski stole the show with her ability to pull off both the physically demanding action sequences as well as the comedic elements. The character of Sarah was often required to take jobs to support her cover identity that were far below her actual skill set, like when she was the cashier for the fast food restaurant Wienerlicious.

Although Sarah Walker wasn't quite as morally gray as some of her later characters, the demands of the role gave Strahovski a chance to display her versatility as a performer, and it's served her well ever since.