I have a newfound respect for Janina Gavankar after her performance at EA Play on Saturday.
Maybe “performance” isn’t the right word. Though technically she was paid to be on stage, her genuine excitement felt like how I might react if ushered in front of the world by a legion of Imperial Stormtroopers to formally introduce new Star Wars Battlefront II footage.
Her rocking Imperial-themed dress aside, Janina commanded the stage and the Star Wars brand. I couldn’t tell if she was reading off a teleprompter or not. She was confident, engaged, and you could absolutely tell it was a joy for her to represent EA and a galaxy far, far away.
Remembering Janina’s solid performances from True Blood and Arrow is one thing. Seeing her in her element, blurring the line between actress and fan, was another. Memories of sitting in the crowd and squirming as stuffy suits or disinterested paid talent read lines faded away.
Why can’t all E3 presentations emulate what Janina delivered?
Janina even commented that her mom was backstage for the big occasion. That has to be an E3 first, or at least the first time someone has admitted it.
That’s not the only thing Janina admitted. Here she is, the lone Star Wars Battlefront II PC player using a PS4 controller. Yeah, that would be me as well. Minus the dress.
— janina gavankar (@Janina) June 11, 2017
Janina’s heartfelt enthusiasm in lending her voice to protagonist Iden Versio and promoting Star Wars Battlefront II as someone who views it as more than a job has pushed my hype for the game from insane into hyperspace.
If I’m a video game publisher, contacting Janina’s agent to represent my next big game is a top priority.