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Janina Gavankar banner


Janina Gavankar plays Eva "Papi" Torres, a Latina paramour who invades Alice's chart and gives Shane a run for her money where the ladies are concerned.  Papi is a bit of a mystery.  She's the Don Juan of limo drivers who seduces women at an alarmingly high rate.  Of the L girls, Alice and Helena are already part of Papi's "solar system."

Janina - born November 29 to Pete and Mohra Gavankar is an American of Dutch and Indian decent. Janina grew up in Joliet, Illinois and studied classical music before pursuing an acting career. At a young age Janina trained in Opera performance, classical piano, and orchestral percussion. She performed in the singing group Endera, with whom she toured and released an album on Cash Money/Universal Records. She has also worked on an Indian music project with Pratichee Mohapatra, Deep, and Navraaz, has acted in a Bollywood movie, and VJ'd for MTV India. Janina majored in Theatre Performance at the University of Illinois in Chicago where she worked in theatre, commercials, and independent films.

Janina, who is a self-proclaimed "nerd" and "tech geek" has nonetheless played some very sexy characters. She appeared as Iona, a sultry (and very nude!) vixen in "Cup of My Blood," a horror film about the Holy Grail. You can also see her as Ms. Dewey, a sexy digital librarian with a strong internet following who will address all of your search engine needs.

Janina currently lives in Los Angeles and is working on a new solo album.

Janina Says

Interests: Story tellin', music makin'
Favourite movie: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Favourite genre of music: Neo-World-Rock (Rock/Pop with a World Beat edge)
Favourite Composer: Rachmaninoff
Favourite photographer: David La Chapelle
Favourite game: Lumines
Favourite cartoon character: Batz Maru
Tools of the Trade: ProTools, my voice, my hands, my heart...

Interesting Facts

*Also known as "Janina Ziona" or "Janina Z"
*Was one of 18 actors out of 700 who auditioned chosen for the ABC talent showcase in 2004.
*For two years Janina produced and directed the Illinois Junior Miss Scholarship Program.
*Was featured in the San Francisco band Recliner's music video for their single "Float Away".
*In the "Tell Me What" recording/music video; Navraaz raps in Punjabi, Janina sings in English, and Pratichee sings in Hindi. Deep is the producer.
*For her "Tell Me What" video, Janina originally wanted to have the male back-up dancers perform in female drag and the female singers in male drag.
*Janina's sister Sonya was in the Miss America pageant in 1997 as Miss District of Columbia. She is now a journalist who has worked for CNN, ABC, and the Freedom Forum.
*Her father, Pete, is a microchip genius and has also produced an album for Rahul Dev "RD" Burman, the famous Indian composer.
*Her mother Mohra, is a businesswoman, columnist, and a very active community volunteer who also holds a pilot's license.
*Her grandfather was a Brigadier General in the Indian army.
*Is currently dating Angelo Sotira, the CEO of deviantART.
*Shares "parenting" of an English Setter named Bentley with boyfriend, Angelo.
*Doesn't drink or do drugs - her vices are: sex, food, rock & roll.
*Janina was a drumline captain in high school
*Never listened to radio until college
*Is notoriously puncutal


Dash 4 Cash (2007) (TV) (post-production)
Bull Run (2006) .... Maria
"L Word, The" (2007) TV Series .... Papi

Cup of My Blood (2005) .... Iona
Barbershop 2: Back in Business (2004) .... Field Reporter
Dark (2003)
Barbershop (2002) .... Fine Woman
Why Is God... (2001) .... Mina

Notable TV Guest Appearances

Playstation E3 Reporter (2006)
Playstation E3 Futuristic Welcoming Hostess (2006)
"Girlfriends" .... Waitress (1 episode, 2005)

"Strong Medicine" .... Nurse Juni (1 episode, 2004)


Gateway commercials
Dish Network - Starz Edge (2004)
PS2 Britney's Dance Beat Game (2002)
Houston Chronicle -
McDonald's Commercial

Music Videos

Pratichee Mohapatra, Janina Gavankar, Deep, and Navraaz - "Tell Me What"
Recliner - "Float Away" (May 2006)

Actress - stage performances

Apple Tree Theatre
The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds her Chameleon Skin .... Friend (March/April 2003)

The 1 Second Film (2007) (in production) (producer)
click here to be a Producer too!


Rebound (2005) (writer: "Jump")


"Under the Radar"
See videos and listen to songs from the album

The L Word Online has been designed by Oz and Slicey.  Unique images designed by Oz.  Site maintained by Oz & Slicey.  This website is intended to be fun and informative, and was created with respect to show appreciation for the women and men involved in the creation of TV's first real lesbian drama.  This site is not endorsed, sponsored, or affiliated with Showtime Networks Inc., the television series "The L Word," or any person involved in the making of the show.  No copyright infringement is intended.  Images and other borrowed content are copyright their respective owners.  Credit is given where due.  All original content is the sole property of  the creators of The L Word Online copyright October 2003.