Hard N.O.C. Life Star Wars Video Games

Janina Gavankar: How a Nerd of Color Became the Face of Star Wars

Since the NOC launched in 2013, actress Janina Gavankar has been one of the community’s biggest celebrity boosters. Now, finally, Janina is able to join us on Hard NOC Life! In the intervening years, she has racked up the nerd bona fides by starring in Arrow, True Blood, and Sleepy Hollow. But now, she is part of the biggest nerd franchise of them all: as Iden Versio in the blockbuster game franchise Star Wars: Battlefront II.

Keith and Janina discuss her upbringing in an immigrant household in Illinois and her initiation as a drum corps geek as a teenager. Then, they talk about her gamer origins and what it’s like coming on to projects while also being a fan of the properties. They also talk about how important it is to see a brown girl be the face of something like Star Wars and what it was like portraying a character as nuanced as Iden Versio. Later, she exposes the Desi Illuminati, endorses the Desi Geek Girls podcast, and shouts out everyone’s Iden cosplay!

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