In the second part of our exclusive shape shifter interviews, our in-house fashion maven Karen Raphael spoke to the newest girl in Bon Temps, Janina Gavankar who was added to the cast in late November 2010. She will star in the role of Luna, the shape shifting teacher when the HBO hit vampire drama returns this summer.
Last we spoke to Sam Trammell, the shows resident shape shifter/bar owner/hottie about his character’s (also named Sam) relationship with Luna. And while we totally understand how sensitive a lot of this information is, I think Janina is going to give us a tiny little nugget more than what we already know.
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Karen: Congratulations on scoring a role on the hottest show on television! How does it feel?
J. Gavankar: I didn’t even jump up in the air. Its almost like I got more serious and buckled down. Like, ok get to work.
Karen: What was your first reaction when you heard?
J. Gavankar: It wasn’t like some major happy dance right away. Im happy dancing right now but when I first found out I was like, ok. Things get really serious right now.
Karen: Were you a fan of the show before you got cast?
J. Gavankar: No, I was not. Only because I hadn’t had time to watch the show. I feel like it’s a cop out now saying that I am a fan,
I mean, how could you not be? It’s True Blood!
Now, I’m such a fan, I’m worried about, even though I know what’s happening, I’m still very worried about Lafayette, Tara is having problems, I’m very concerned about everyone even though I know where they are in the next season.
I’m still living in what I’ve just seen. So I was not a fan before, only because I hadn’t seen enough to call myself a true fan. Now of course, I am a fan in a way that I would have been even if I wasn’t working on the show.
Karen: That is definitely part of the shows magic! Now that you have caught up with the series, were you motivated to read the books?
J. Gavankar: I have not, for a very specific reason. The show is working pretty far from the books at this point. And also, I am the kind of actor that, when I make decision about backstory, I stick to them and I treat them like they’re truths so if I read something in a book that conflicts with what we’ve chosen for the scene then im upset so I have actually vowed to wait.
Karen: This season you are coming in as the super sexy Luna, the shape shifting school teacher. With the abundance of vampires and werewolves, are you excited to be representing the minority?
J. Gavankar: Exclamation mark! We will learn a lot about shafeshifters this season.
Karen: The lead shape shifter on the show is played by the gorgeous Sam Trammell. Can you tell us a little about the relationship between Luna and Sam?
J. Gavankar: No! I think…he is gorgeous, he really is. And he’s everything you think he is. You know how he seems like hes a gentleman? He is a gentleman. His eyes seem soulful becuase he is soulful.
It’s not hard going to work. Luna and Sam like each other right now and that’s all I am going to say. They like each other right now. Who knows what else?
We hardly know anything so I couldn’t tell you myself.
Karen: Have Luna and Sam met in the past and if not tell us about your first meeting.
J. Gavankar: No. You are there when they first meet and really get to know each other.
Karen: As a shape shifter you have the ability to become almost anything. While the shift can vary
what will your main animal be?
J. Gavankar: I can’t say. I’m so sorry! But I’ll just say that we learn a lot about shapeshifters and the full range of their abilities.
Karen: Poor Sam has had moments where he has found himself naked in the middle of the woods, after a full moon. Will this happen to Luna?
It will probably.
Karen: Working for a pop culture blog, we read a lot of spoilers. News leaked that you and Sam would be partaking in some special shape shifter meetings.
Last week, We spoke to Sam and he confirmed this news. What can you tell us about that?
J. Gavankar: Nothing!
Wait…what did Sam say?! If Sam said it, I can tell you. Yes, there are meetings. Both Sam and Luna have found a support group. So yeah, there will be some shape shifter meetings, and that’s how we will learn more about shapeshifters in these meeting.
Karen: Is it more like a support system or a way to learn more about shapeshifting?
J. Gavankar: I think its both. There are so few of us in the world so finding anybody who can understand what your going through makes you thank the gods. You cling to them. You cling to people who are like you.
Karen: Your character is also a school teacher. Do you teach at a regular school or is it is a school for special students like shapeshifters etc. and if so do you teach them about shapeshifting?
J. Gavankar: Normal public school
Karen: Coming from a show like “The L Word”, you must have experience working on a show that features nudity and/or sexually suggestive acts. Are you comfortable with it?
J. Gavankar: I have no problem with sex scenes that move the story lines along and show the true nature of humans, as opposed to sex scenes for sex scenes. I have no problem with nudity, I don’t think there’s any problem with the human body.
You know people get naked sometimes!
Our jobs are to represent real life and fiction. Our job is to bring realism to fiction and we prefer to show every color in the rainbow.
Karen: I know you are also a musician. Some of your music has even been licensed to television and movies. Is there any chance we will get to hear your sound on True Blood?
J. Gavankar: I don’t know. Maybe, I have to ask the music supervisor. That would be fun, that would be a lot of fun. I haven’t met everybody in the whole cast and crew yet so im not sure.
Karen: Are you able to balance your musical career and your acting career at the same time?
J. Gavankar: I think it’s pretty obvious that I’ve chosen acting. I make music because I have to. If I don’t, I go crazy. That’s kind of the balance, acting is the focus, music is something that just comes naturally. I do whatever is natural to me.
Karen: What inspired you to become an actress?
J. Gavankar: I was Maria in Westside Story in high school and I had an emotional response that was not my own, it was Maria’s but it was very real and it forever changed my life. It was very real. It was the first time that I ever felt something as somebody else.
I never knew you could really do that.
I was doing musicals because I was studying opera and voice. I wasn’t doing it because I wanted to be an actress and then something suddenly changed in that moment where it was like magic.
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We want to give Janina a huge thank you for taking the time out to talk with us about her exciting new role on True Blood. We are very excited to see what Luna will be like and how the shape shifters get a bigger stage in season four.
Keep your eyes peeled for the premiere this June on HBO. I know I’m ready for more Alexander Skarsgard, Sam Trammell, Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Joe Manganiello, and the rest of the cast! Are you?