Janina Gavankar, the Mystic Falls newcomer, gave Vampire Diaries fans a treat as she gave an interview about being the show’s most powerful witch, Qetsiyah, after almost a full season. She was also the witch who was determined to take down Silas (Paul Wesley).
“I didn’t know I was playing Qetsiyah! I thought the character was some snarky girl named Tessa,” she tells TVGuide.com about learning the real role she had landed.
In fact, Gavankar knew nothing about her role. She was in Washington D.C. waiting for her sister to have a baby when she got a call from The Vampire Diaries to do an arc. They told her if she wanted the role, she would have to leave the following day.
“So I got on a plane and flew to Atlanta. As usual I said, ‘Fantastic. Let me read the material.’ They send me sides, which give me no information, but when I got a script it ends up being 18 pages of monologue. I was ushered to my dressing room with a bunch of DVDs in hand and stared at the wall for a second like, ‘What have I gotten myself into?'”
While she had some experience for the role, this show was very different from True Blood. She had to prepare herself for the role.
“This is a show about doppelgangers. I love swimming in backstory soup, so the first thing I did was sit down with the writer of the episode, Rebecca Sonnenshine, and I waded through all of it with her and figured out the whole thing. I had more hair tests and makeup tests than any other show,” said Gavankar.
Does she have any other motivations aside from getting to Silas?
“That is her No. 1 goal, but she’s had 2000 years of watching these doppelgangers find each other over and over and over again. So, she warns Damon about his future, that he has no shot, because she identifies with Damon a lot. She feels bad for him.” she explained.
The Vampire Diaries airs on Thursdays at 8/7c on The CW.