The commonality of changing your name for the entertainment industry is something that’s long fascinated me. In fact, I’m surprised it’s taken me this long to bring it up on an episode of Collider Ladies Night. But, the time did finally come and it was during my conversation with Stateless star Yvonne Strahovski. While we do know her quite well by that name courtesy of her extensive list of hit projects including Chuck, The Handmaid’s Tale, Dexter and more, the true spelling of her last isn’t actually “Strahovski;” it’s “Strzechowski.”
While it may seem like a little thing, changing such a significant part of your identity is a pretty big decision. While discussing Strahovski’s earliest experiences in the industry, I asked her if changing the spelling of her last name took a good deal of thought and consideration, or if it was just no big deal. Here’s what she said:
“No, it wasn’t no big deal. And it’s funny you mention it because I did think about this the other day on my own. If it was now, I probably wouldn’t have done it. It was part of, I guess the culture back then. This old Hollywood thinking to anglicize your name a bit more or make it less complicated or less of a mouthful. And yes, of course, it is a mouthful; I spell it differently to how it’s actually spelled. But I kept thinking, if everyone could get past Schwarzenegger and learn how to say that then surely they can learn how to say my name as well. It just always rubbed me the wrong way to change it to something completely different, which was suggested so I kind of went for this phonetic spelling version. Yeah, it was a cultural thing back then that’s something that I don’t think that I would do now if I were to start now and move forward.”
Strahovski does make a very fair point right there. It’d probably be quite difficult to reverse course on the matter this far into her career, but for what it’s worth, Strahovski has quite a few stellar titles and accolades to that name to be very proud of. Not only do we discuss what it was like making a whole bunch of those projects during her full episode of Ladies Night, but we also get into how she’s used those experiences to hone her craft and also to find projects with the power to transcend the screen and make a real difference. Keep an eye out for the full conversation dropping on Collider on Tuesday, July 28th.