The CW's "Arrow" has had its share of rotating guest stars, but none quite so stunning as Janina Gavankar. "The League" and "True Blood" star spoke with Zap2It about her recurring role on the action adventure series, which is set to take turn in this week's new episode.
In this week's episode "Dodger", Gavankar's McKenna Hall will give Stephen Amell's Oliver Queen a second shot at a relationship, something they had attempted during their wilder days. "She's had this wild past, but she's a grown up," Gavankar said. "By the time they reconnect, they're both in very [different] places than who they were in the past. I think that's why they have an understanding. She's an incredibly intuitive girl; there's a reason why she's a detective. She's an observer, which tells you that Ollie is incredibly good at staying undercover, for this girl not to notice that he happens to be the vigilante. That's what I really like about her. She's a strong, independent, grown lady."
The actress expressed genuine excitement for her role, particularly playing such a strong-willed female character on a male-oriented action series. "She comes from a family of cops; she's always thought she would always be blue collar," Gavankar said. "When you meet somebody like Oliver Queen in the club and he actually takes a liking to you, you're like 'Screw it! I'm totally going to have some fun with this guy! We're definitely not going to end up together but whatever, at least one day I'll be able to say that I dated Oliver Queen. And I'm going to tell all of my girlfriends everything.' You know? So that's what I feel their past was. Nothing serious, and she never expected that they would ever connect in a real way."
Gavankar cites McKenna and Oliver's newly refocused life outlooks as motivating the two to give a relationship another shot, as both recognize the maturity and change in one another. "He has changed a lot, and she does have this moment when she thinks back, and she goes, 'I always loved how much you loved your sister,'" Gavankar muses. "So even back then she saw something real and grounded in him. I think McKenna has always seen a little of the softer, what-could-be side of Oliver. I mean, if he stays that way, who wouldn't fall for that?"
"I think the reason that they ever would be okay together in the future is that because McKenna is independent and incredibly career-driven, she has no problem with a guy who is busy," Gavankar says. "In fact -- thank you, please stay out of my way, I gotta work. Mama's got to pay the bills."
Don't miss the new episode of "Arrow" tonight on The CW!