'True Blood' Star Janina Gavankar Dishes on the Show's Nude Scenes, Sookie's Love Triangle
Welcome back to the Celebuzz Meet & Greet, where we talk with rising actors, musicians and entertainers before they hit it big. Watch out for these future A-listers!
If you're a fan True Blood, then you're familiar with Janina Gavankar and how much nudity is actually featured in the HBO show. As shapeshifter Luna, the 31-year-old actress is required to strip down to almost nothing for her special effects scenes.
With the series' fifth season well on its way -- and Luna's storyline getting more involved -- is Gavankar comfortable with the amount of skin she's showing?
Celebuzz caught up with the star to set the record straight.
As a shapeshifter, you're required to be almost naked for many of your scenes. Are you comfortable with the amount of nudity on the show?
I am. Besides the fact that it is obviously the most professional environment that you can imagine, I joined in season four so by then they had already seen way worse than what I was about to do. Shifters are naked so much just because we shift into other things that we’re not even connected to. I feel like I’m just as connected to my human form as I am to a horse form. So in that regard, the brain space of nudity is a little different for shifters, and that is something obviously I’m very OK with.
How do you prepare for those racier scenes?
We do fittings for a day of nudity, meaning what kind of nude-colored undergarment am I going to tape to my body to make sure that everybody can remain professional. We have really long work days so you’re in these outfits -- or non-outfits -- with everybody around you doing their job. On one day, my mother was actually in town -- and when my mom is in town I take her everywhere -- so she was there for the entire fitting watching it all happen.
Was she mortified?
It demystified the entire thing for her. She really got to see how it's very much work. It’s a full work day and she got to see how professional it really was. She was there for the entire fitting watching it all happen -- how we're talking about sizes of underwear and which color matches my skin tone. It's really very technical. There’s nothing sexy and therefore awkward because of it. There is nothing awkward about it because there is nothing sexy about it either.
How do you feel about seeing yourself on TV?
Here’s the truth: They make us look even better than we do in real life, because were in full makeup. We’ve probably been sprayed tanned, made up and the lighting is perfect with wind blowing through your hair. There's even a film score behind it and the music makes it even cooler. By the time you watch it, it's all been cut together so beautifully that it looks way better than it did on the day of the shoot.
What can fans expect from Luna this season?
Well, she is going to have to deal with her daughter. In this situation, that’s a really big deal to her. Life gets so complicated for her that she loses control a little bit and that’s really dangerous. When you’re a shifter and you don’t have control over yourself, it’s pretty dangerous for you and the people that you’re around.
How would you describe Luna personally?
She’s a great mom and she’s trying to hold it together, but she is also shifter who came from a pretty rough childhood. She has really been through hell and back. She’s obviously not perfect. She had a messed up dark past, but she is really just trying to do the right thing her and her priority is her daughter.
Well, fans obviously cannot get enough of True Blood.
Thank God! It’s a lot of work. Alan Ball said in our first pilot that we had maybe a few special effects, some blood and it was all very tamed. Now, there is an explosion and blood on on every page. We have come a long long way.
At the end of it all, who do you think Sookie (Anna Paquin) should end up with?
I love Bill (Stephen Moyer) but I think she needs to give Alcide (Joe Manganiello) a real shot. But in the very end? I would say Bill. I feel like whenever she’s crying and she’s with him, I’m always more choked up. Maybe it’s just because of their real life chemistry.