Actress, singer, musician, and geek extraordinaire Janina Gavankar (True Blood) earlier this month dropped her new single ‘Waiting For Godot.’ A compelling track filled with intense emotion, Ms. Gavankar took a break last week from traveling New York’s subways to call into the ‘Buzzine Bollywood Hour with P-Mo and Elfo’ to discuss the new track. In the live radio interview on KLBC, Ms. Gavankar also spoke with Parimal M. Rohit and Richard Elfman about her artistic inclinations, interpretation of a Kanye West smash hit, and why she was speaking to us from a playground castle.
Below is the transcription of the full interview.
Richard Elfman: I’m very excited to meet Janina Gavankar.
Parimal M. Rohit: Speaking of Janina, we have her online. Hi, Janina! Can you hear us?!
Janina Gavankar: Yes, I can! Hello?
PMR: How are you doing today?
JG: Good, thank you! How are you?
PMR: Doing good! So, you’re in New York right now?
JG: I am! I am in Brooklyn right now. I just got out of the subway just in time to call in to your show, and I was like, ‘Shoot! I have no quite place to sit!’ So, I wandered over to this little children’s park and I’m sitting in a little castle.
JG: (Laughs). I tweeted a little picture of the little castle I found.
PMR: So does this make you a princess for the day?
JG: Uh, sure, yeah, Queen of my little castle here.
PMR: (Laughs). Well, let me introduce you to my co-host here, Richard Elfman!
RE: Hello, Janina, very excited to meet you!
JG: Very nice to meet you as well!
RE: Huge fan of your shapeshifter Luna Garza on True Blood.
JG: Oh! Thank you!
RE: Reading about you, I had no idea that you had such a rich and very artistic background as a musician, a singer, a composer, and symphony percussionist?
JG: Yeah! I grew up as a musician first. I didn’t really even know I wanted to be an actor until high school. I’m kind of a classical kid. I’m still using the same artistic process that I procured when I was in grade school. Nothing much has changed from my nerdy days. (Laughs). I’ve somehow made it work for me.
RE: Well, could you describe to us a bit how the artistic process you have used in grade school applies to dramatic acting, other than, of course, you have impeccable timing?
JG: Oh, I love it! The major similarity is in the way I dissect a scene. It’s not ‘very similar’ – it’s exactly the same as the way I dissect, say, a piano piece. They are very similar in that you arrive at a different place in the middle then where you started in the beginning. Each note is like each word in a scene. Things are being said, essentially. I find myself dissecting, then sort of leaving it all and sort of letting it be in letting the music happen in the same exact way.
PMR: Janina, speaking of music, you have a new single that just dropped.
JG: Yes! I just released a single on Randy Jackson’s label called ‘Waiting for Godot’ and it’s actually the same name … (as a) Samuel Beckett play, which is a very popular play that most people who have gone through theatre school have probably studied. It’s about two men who wait for another man who never comes.
PMR: You also had another powerful song out last year with your version of ‘Love Lockdown,’ which was awesome! Sort of tell us how that song came about. What was your inspiration to get into that? What were the emotions felt in that song?
JG: You know, somewhere along the way I realized I was listening to the radio a little differently than everybody else does. So I took a song I thought was beautiful by Kanye West … and I did a flip. (Chuckles). I tore it apart to its bare bones and kept the things that meant to me the most, which was some of the melody and all of the words, and restructured it.
RE: We’re all looking forward to your video (for ‘Waiting For Godot’) as soon as it’s completed!
JG: Yes! The teaser will be out soon! So just wait!