Who Is Bojana Novakovic? 4 Things to Know About Chicago PD Actress

By Klein Felt Posted:
Bojana Novakovic

Serbian/Australian actor Bojana Novakovic joins NBC's Chicago P.D. Season 11 as the latest addition to the long-running series. 

Novakovic arrives on the Chicago P.D. scene as Jo Petrovic, an enterprising new detective who joins the series' Central Intelligence Unit in Season 11 Episode 7, as she helps track down a serial killer. 

Novakovic is best known for her roles in titles like Drag Me To Hell and Edge of Darkness but also has credits in mega hits like I, Tonya, Birds of Prey, and Shameless

4 Facts About Chicago PD's Bojana Novakovic

Chicago PD's Bojana Novakovic

Bojana Novakovic Graduated from The McDonald College in Syndey, Australia

Sinking her teeth into Australian TV and film before making the jump across the Pacific, Bojana Novakovic has quite the track record acting down under. 

This all traces back to her time going to school at McDonald College and the National Institute of Dramatic Art in the Sydney area. 

Novakovic studied at McDonald College before graduating from the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in 2002 with a Bachelor of Dramatic Arts. 

She shares an alma mater with several icons of the screen including Succession's Sarah Snook and Oscar winners Cate Blanchett, Mel Gibson, Judy Dench, and Baz Luhrmann. 

From there, Novakovic would go on to appear on Australian TV sets, earning acclaim and even awards consideration within the country. 

She also would be seen on the stage in Sydney, even starting a theater company of her own named Ride On Theatre Sydney and Melbourne.

Bojana Novakovic Wanted To Be a Doctor Before Acting

Before Bojana Novakovic took to acting, she wanted to be a doctor.

Having moved from her home country of Serbia to Australia because of the Balkan War of the 1990s, Novakovic wanted to do a job that helped people, hence her affinity for a potential career in medicine. 

In a January 2024 interview with The Australian Financial Review, the 42-year-old actress revealed her interest in becoming a doctor and helping people came from seeing Princess Diana on TV:

"I saw Princess Diana was helping kids in war zones. So I was like, ‘I need to be a princess.'"

But it was seeing a documentary on actress Grace Kelly that convinced Novakovic to pursue acting:

"And then I saw a documentary about Grace Kelly – she was an actress and then she became a princess. And I was like, 'Oh, that’s how you become a princess."

Bojana Novakovic Is an Anti-Mining Activist

Outside of acting, Bojana Novakovic is an outspoken anti-mining activist. 

Novakovic was born in the mineral-rich country of Serbia (originally from Belgrade) and has been very public in speaking out against the exploitation of those resources. 

Specifically, she has rallied against the Rio Tinto Jadar lithium mining project in her home country. 

She described taking on the mining giant, saying, "It is not just a fight against the project, it is a fight for survival" (via Balkan Insight):

"It is not just a fight against the project, it is a fight for survival. The essence is to preserve what we have in ways that are healthy and not continue over-production and exploitation. This [project] is just packaged as healthy; it’s just marketing and it will not bring anything good to ordinary people."

The Chicago P.D. actress even acknowledged the risk she is taking by putting her name out there against such an endeavor:

"I would be much more successful commercially if I was not doing this [activism]. When I do an interview, they always want me to talk like about, say, starring with Keanu Reeves, or shooting in an exotic location in Japan, and are dazzled when I say: 'I am in Serbia, coordinating a campaign against the Rio Tinto lithium mining project.'"

However, Novakovic ultimately believed this effort was for the best, organizing rallies, petitions, and full-blown protests. 

Thus far, Novakovic's efforts (along with much public outcry) have resulted in the revocation of Rio Tinto's licenses for the Jadar mining project, but the fight continues as the mining titan continues its appeal to the Serbian government. 

Bojana Novakovic Also Works as a Serbian Translator for Theater and Film

While having grown up in Australia, Bojana Novakovic shares a deep connection to the home country she fled as a young girl, Serbia. 

With this bond still intact, Novakovic helped to bring some theater and film projects from the region to other parts of the world. 

According to her All Movie resume, Novakovic adapted, directed, and translated the play Fake Porno from Serbian into English, being put on by her theater company. 

She also did the same for the play Family Stories: Belgrade which she also directed and put on for Australian audiences (per The Spectator Australia). 

How To Follow Bojana Novakovic Online

Fans looking to keep up with Bojana Novakovic online can do so on her Instagram account (@bojnovak).

New episodes of Chicago P.D. air every Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT on NBC.

- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.