Miami Living Magazine

Olivia Culpo

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Throughout her journey, Janina has tried to stay true to herself, and be a par t of produc tions that, not only challenge her, but pique her interest, like her role on HBO's True Blood. Janina joined the show in Season Four as headstrong shapeshif ter, Luna Garza. Shooting those shapeshif ting scenes was a long process, she tells me. "What you saw is that we get naked, then we turn into an animal. We had to get naked because other wise, we would hulk out of our clothes, if it was a horse we were turning into," she laughs. "The process of shooting it on the day was, let's say we turned into a mouse. We would shoot the mice first, because you couldn't really predic t which way they would go. So, you would spend the first half of the day shooting the mice, and we would be there to watch what they did. They have to get from point A to point B. And God bless them, it took them hours upon hours to get those mice to go from point A to point B," she explains. "It's some of the most fun I've ever had. Ever ybody was so willing to deface themselves on that show. Even though it was a ver y glamorous show, it was also high comedy and a lot of gore." Though it's been several years since the show ended, Janina has remained close friends with Deborah Ann Woll, who played vampire Jessica Hamby. "We play Dungeons & Dragons. She is a hardcore D&D, so she ushered me in, and has been my Dungeon Master for over a year now. She was just over at my house —the group played a good five hours." Janina has worked in both film and television, and loves each for unique reasons. What really gets her going is working under pressure. "If it's a big budget movie it moves much slower. If it's an indie movie like Blindspot ting, we went to 24 locations in 22 days. That is an intense, quick movie. Much like television shows. When you make a T V show, especially, if it's an HBO show. If you are making a 60 -minute show, you are making half a movie—over, and over, and over again. Sometimes in 10 days. You are shooting half a movie in 10 days," she chuckles. "And I love that. I love being on set with a group of ar tists, making quick, big decisions together to be able to keep the train on the tracks. I love the pressure. I think there is a reason why I continued to do television, I think I'm built for it. I love the feeling of being a workhorse." When she's not on set filming, she is diving into the video game industr y. Most recently, Janina did per formance capture for E A's Star Wars: Bat tlefront II, where she played the lead charac ter, Iden Versio—the daughter of the Imperial Admiral. "I am a hardcore video game player. I play all of the time," she laughs. "My favorite video game of all time is Por tal. And I played over 90 hours of Horizon Zero Dawn before I even got casted. I'm a completionist." She has also been immersing herself in independent games, and is currently working with Night School Studio, which recently launched their new game, Af terpar t y. "Basically, the premise is, you go to hell, and you have to drink your way out. You have to outdrink Satan," she chuckles. "But if I'm going to give you one game to play, it's What Remains of Edith Finch. End of s tor y." ML Keep up with Janina at and follow her on Instagram @Janina, Twitter @Janina, and Facebook @JaninaGavankar

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