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Janina Gavankar - Papi on The L Word

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Janina Gavankar

Janina Gavankar

© Photo: Naomi Kaltman/Showtime

Janina Gavankar Actress & Musician:

Although Janina Gavankar plays Latina "Papi" on The L Word, her family background is Dutch and Indian. She is a classically trained pianist and vocalist. She studied theater at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Janina Gavankar and Endera:

Janina Gavankar was part of the pop group Endera, now defunct, signed to a subsidiary of Universal Records. She continues to record music.

Janina Gavankar - Ms. Dewey:

This is so much fun! Check out Janina Gavankar as “Ms.Dewey” in the interactive search engine MsDewey.

Janina Gavankar on The L Word:

Janina Gavankar joins THE L WORD on Season 4 as Papi, a hot Latina who challenges Shane. Papi is competitive, loud and beautiful. She's a big flirt and competes with Shane for female attention.

Janina Gavankar the actress:

Janina Gavankar began acting in Chicago theater scene and also worked in commercials and independent film projects. Since moving to Los Angeles, Gavankar has appeared in numerous hit television series such as "Girlfriends" and "Strong Medicine," as well as the indie film "Bull Run."

Janina Gavankar Answers Lesbian Life Questions::

Is there anything fun/or funny that happened on the set of The L Word that you want to share?
I will always remember salsa dancing with Pam Grier. I got to lead a legend!

How are you like or unlike your character on The L Word?
Really I'm nothing like Papi... She's got serious game (I'm kinda nerdy), she's from East LA, (I'm from Chicago), she's masculine (I'm... not.) We're just from entirely different walks of life.

When you got the job, did you know what a cultural phenomenon The L Word is for lesbians?
I definitely knew the show was a hit, across the board, but I didn't have a full grasp on its importance. I realize that now!

Does you think the show helps the cause of gay/lesbian rights? If so, how?
I absolutely think the show helps the LGBT cause, the obvious immediate reason being awareness. But I also think that the more shows like this that are produced and available to wide audiences, the more the next generation of LGBT can grow up seeing that they do have a voice, and are supported.

Anything else you'd want to say to a mostly lesbian audience?

As a fan of the show, I can say this is the best season yet! I hope you all feel the love we've put into it...

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