'True Blood' Star Teases Darker Season Five
'True Blood' Preview - What's Next?
If you follow Janina Gavankar on Twitter, or have seen her in interviews, it quickly becomes clear that in addition to starring on True Blood, she's also one of the show's biggest fangirls. Oddly, that wasn't always the case as Janina was a total neophyte when she was cast as Luna, a shape-shiting love interest for Sam Merlotte.
But one quick series marathon later, and she was hooked! I caught up with Janina to talk about her first season on the show, what the biggest challenges of joining this kind of secretive show are and what fans can expect from Sunday's season premiere!
TheInsider.com: Whether or not you're a TV fan, True Blood is the kind of show everyone seems to know about it. How familiar were you before being cast?
Janina Gavankar: I was aware of it – all the of the people who have taste that I respected watched the show. I was the person you'd yell "I can't believe you don't watch True Blood" at with disdain [laughs].
Insider: Do you think that worked to your advantage in the audition process?
Janina: Absolutely. I definitely think it was to my advantage to not be as much of a Truebie as I am now. Once I booked the show, I had a short amount of time to marathon all the seasons. Which in some ways was almost worse because I was overcome with all this pride and love. It took over my whole psyche and suddenly I was nervous to work with these amazing people.
Insider: Luna isn't a huge character in the books, so how much did the writers tell you about the character coming in?
Janina: Unless you're a series regular, they don't give you any information. I didn't know I had a daughter until episode three, so as soon as I learned that, I had to spend some serious time making up all this backstory.
Insider: Whoa. That must have changed your take on Luna a lot.
Janina: Yea – for sure. That was a big one. Not only her being a mother, but not knowing what her daughter would turn out to be changed a lot for me. Suddenly, Luna's priorities changed and Emma's safety and self-esteem became the only thing Luna cared about to me.
Insider: Do you like that malleable storytelling, or would you prefer to know the character's full season arc at the outset?
Janina: I think it is harder – for me, at least. That doesn't mean it's less fun, it's just more of a challenge because you have to find the happy medium between creating backstory and being flexible because the writers could change your plan on a moments notice. Everything I've made up, I still have to be OK with the fact someone could contradict that at any point.
Insider: Fans seem to like Luna with Sam. Do you?
Janina: Yea. He's a good man. You know how when you meet somebody and are automatically willing to accept whatever baggage they come with? That's what Sam and Luna have. Even when sh*t goes completely south -- like when Tommy got in the mix -- she didn't get mad at Sam because that wasn't his fault. It's just the baggage he comes with. And she's probably done worse [laughs]. At that point, Sam is really falling for Luna too, so he's willing to take everything as it comes with her because they share something special.