Janina Zione Gavankar is a singer and actor from the United States, born on November 29th, 1980, in Illinois. Her mom moved to the US, where she married her long-term fiancé, Peter Ganesh Gavankar, who was pursuing his master’s degree in engineering at the time. Janina’s mom is of Indian and Dutch descent.
Janina Gavankar has featured in many high-end shows. Some of them include Ms. Dewey, Shiva, The L Word, and The Mysteries of Laura, just to mention a few. Besides Sleepy Hollow, she portrayed Diana Thomas on the Fox show.
Gavankar has acted on stage, in cinema, television, and on the Internet. True Blood’s shapeshifter Luna Garza; The L Word’s lesbian lothario Papi; Microsoft’s Ms. Dewey; and The League’s prized trophy’s name-bearer Shiva are just a few of the parts she has played that have garnered national attention. In the Funny or Die videos, she is a frequent cast member.
After joining the L Word in 2006, Ms. Gavankar took part in the shooting of Ms. Dewey’s clips. The CW pilot Dash 4 Cash cast her in the starring role in 2007. Actors such as Grey’s Anatomy, Stargate Atlantis, My Boys, and Factory starred in Gavankar’s work in 2008. That was one of the busiest years in her acting career. These programs include Indian Gangster, Three Rivers, Doll House, and many more. Gavankar provided Nikki’s voice in Quantum Quest. Gavankar also features as a lead cast in ABC’s The Gates despite its cancellation. She is also a vice squad policewoman and Oliver’s temporary girlfriend on CW’s Arrow.
It’s no secret that Gavankar is an avid gamer. She’s appeared on Attack of the Show! On G4 TV and Up All Night on Epileptic Gaming, where she contributed analyze Army of Two, Rock Band, and Burnout Paradise. In 2011, Gavankar joined HBO’s True Blood cast as Luna Garza, a state employee and shapeshifter who falls in love with one of the show’s central protagonists.
Her indie film, Satellite of Love, debuted at the Dallas International Film Festival. On December 20th, 2012, Gavankar was the final guest on G4’s now-canceled Attack of the Show! Which aired on G4.
When The Vampire Diaries’ fifth season premiered on August 3rd, 2013, Gavankar was cast as a witch named Qetsiyah. During Husbands’ third season, she appeared as a guest star.
Far Cry 4’s Amita was one of her video game roles in 2014. While on The Mysteries of Laura, she portrayed Detective Meredith Bose from 2014 until 2016.
She portrayed Iden Versio, the primary protagonist in the campaign mode of the 2017 video game Star Wars Battlefront II by Electronic Arts.
After deciding to return to her music career, Kanye West’s “Love Lockdown” was her first stage performance song. Previously, Endera, Gavankar’s all-female singing group, had a deal with Universal Music Group’s Cash Money label.
To create the track “Tell Me What,” she worked with Pratichee Mohapatra of Indian pop trios, Viva, Deep, and Navaraaz. Aside from composing and performing on the marimba for film soundtracks, she has also had her songs licensed for use in cinema and television. Gavankar has appeared in the music videos for “Wish I Could” by Russian singer Ella Leya, “Float Away” by San Francisco band Recliner, and “Darunam” by Manu Narayan.
Her next EP featured the track “Waiting for Godot,” published in August 2012 and aired on Billboard in November. It went on to receive a slew of accolades at film festivals.
After auditioning for the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps in Rockford, Gavankar was accepted into the corps’ front ensemble. Before finding out if she had been accepted into the cast, she accepted an invitation to attend the Yale School of Drama’s summer camp.
Janina Gavankar revealed that she became enamored with drum corps when she was 13 years old and continues to be an ardent supporter of the activity. As soon as she listened to the Martin Garrix and Usher duet “Don’t Look Down,” she had the notion of using it as marching music in her performance. She got in touch with the Jersey Surf Drum and Bugle Corps as well as the arranger, Colin Bell, with the support of Drum Corps International. She invited all fifty members of Jersey Surf into a recording studio in New York, and together they created the song video “Don’t Look Down-#JustAddDrumCorps Edition,” which was made public in April of 2015.
Gavankar and Questlove collaborated on a performance of a percussion duet for a fundraiser concert for Best Buddies held at Carnegie Hall on May 20th, 2015.