Janina Gavankar | Shapeshifting stunner | Girls We Love | FHM.com

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Janina Gavankar
"I used to watch shows with really empowered women who had special powers, and now I’m on one. That stuff marks you, for sure."
Full name: Janina Zione Gavankar
Place of birth: Illinois, United States
Occupation: Actress, Musician

Janina Gavankar facts

  • Janina Gavankar is an Indian-American actress most famous for her roles in True Blood and The L Word.

  • As she plays a shapeshifter in True Blood, she prepares for her role by researching the animals she's going to turn into and talking to experts who've handled them in the past. Thorough!

  • She is, by her own admission, a big geek and a huge fan of sci-fi and fantasy. You could probably woo her with a list of your top five elves, if you tried.


Why we love Janina Gavankar

Janina Gavankar has done a lot of stuff. Like, bundles. She's acted in a huge number of TV shows. She's a musician, having “re-imagined” Kayne West's Love Lockdown and trained as a pianist, vocalist, and orchestral percussionist. Last, and definitely not least, she was a Microsoft search engine for a while. That's not bad going.

You might have seen her play promiscuous lady-botherer Papi on The L Word, or the shapeshifting public school teacher Luna on vampire suck-fest True Blood - that's what she's most famous for, anyway. She's also cropped up in Stargate: Atlantis (as Sgt. “Dusty” Mehra, which is a rubbish nickname to have), NCIS, Grey's Anatomy and on something called Epileptic Gaming, which sounds like a dangerous and short-lived premise for a show.

When we said she was a search engine, that wasn't strictly true – she didn't sit at home waiting for people to ask how to find something online, and then go and find it for them – but instead she acted as Ms Dewey, a virtual assistant and dogsbody along the lines of Subservient Chicken or, more recently, Lucy Pinder's collaboration with Lynx (which has now been removed from their site following a storm of controversy). If you typed in a suggestion, the website would play one of three hundred pre-recorded videos that best matched your query, and deliver search results too – one of the films involves her shooting a crew member in the chest by accident, so, you know, all fun and games.