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Janina Gavankar Talks Sex Appeal & Vampires

We just can’t get enough of current cover girl Janina Gavankar! The news of her upcoming debut with True Blood has us on the edge of our seats. We contacted Janina for a follow-up interview as soon as the news broke. She is going to play Luna, a “super sexy public school teacher” who is not a vampire but a shapeshifter.

Gavankar is joining the 'True Blood' cast as a regular. Photography by Kate Romero.

Janina couldn’t divulge much about her character, but commented, “She’s very different than I am… Obviously I’m not a teacher, nor can I shapeshift!” When we asked Janina about taking such a unique turn in her career, she said, “I don’t feel like it is, actually! I often play normal people with abnormal life skills and/ or challenges.”

Does the striking Ms. Gavankar think she’s sexy? “Nope. I can look at other actors and say ‘she’s sexy’ or ‘he’s sexy.’ I think it’s a lot harder for me to turn the mirror around.”

Sapna: Can you tell us anything about this season?
Janina: All I can say is, the show is going to continue to give you everything you love about it, and more.

Sapna: What is your character’s wardrobe like?
Janina: Well, there’s not much to it at all. Shifters remove their clothes before they shift. Needless to say, I’ll be in the gym over the holidays.

Sapna: Wowza! Can you tell us about your workout routine?
Janina: I value being strong over being skinny. But my gym confession is: if I don’t have a trainer, I’m probably not going to work out. I hate it. (Laughs) I’d much rather use my energy artistically. So I change my routine often because I get bored easily. I just started boxing this week, and let me tell you, right now it hurts to sneeze… at least I’m not bored. (Laughs)

Photography by Jeff Berlin. Tee: LegalizeFifth.com.

Sapna: How were you first introduced to vampire lore when you were a kid?
Janina:
Count Chocula. Best cereal ever. (Laughs) Hm, I think the first vampire lore I’d really seen was “Dracula” with Keanu and Winona Ryder. I think I saw it in high school at a friend’s house, and I didn’t tell my mom. She would have never let me see things like that. I found it horrifying.

Sapna: Tell us what you love most about your role with True Blood.
Janina: I’ll be working with Sam Trammell a lot. I’ve marathoned the entire show and have fallen in love with his character. It’ll be nice gazing into the eyes of Sam Merlotte.

When we asked Janina about her character’s wardrobe, she responded, “Well, there’s not much to it at all. Shifters remove their clothes before they shift.” Wowza!

Sapna: Your character is described as sexy. Do you consider yourself sexy?
Janina: Nope. I can look at other actors and say “she’s sexy” or “he’s sexy.” I think it’s a lot harder for me to turn the mirror around. Many of my characters have been uber-confident, and therefore perceived as sexy. Looking back at some of them, like Ms. Dewey or Papi, I would say “Hell yeah! Them girls were sexy!” But that’s not me, that’s them. —MARIAM KAMAL

Check out Janina’s cover interview: Janina Gavankar: Actor, Musician, Geek