Janina Gavankar was born in Joliet, Illinois, USA, to Pete Gavankar, an Indian engineer, and Shan-de-Mohra, who emigrated to the USA from India, and is half-Indian and half-Dutch. Janina is also trained as a pianist, vocalist, and orchestral percussionist. She majored in Theatre Performance at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Her more notable roles are Papi, a lesbian lothario in The L Word, Leigh Turner, a cop with a big secret on The Gates, Shiva, the namesake of the sought after trophy on The League, and, most recently, shapeshifter Luna Garza on True Blood. She also McKenna Hall, Oliver's cop girlfriend on Arrow.