Janina Gavankar Talks Qetsiyah: She’s “Scary and Ruthless”
We’re still reeling from all the revelations on last night’s Vampire Diaries. Episode 3 (“Original Sin”) quickly turned into one of the series’s best with Tessa revealing that she’s actually Qetsiyah, a 2,000-year-old scorned witch who wants vengeance on Silas (Paul Wesley), the man who broke her heart.
Now that the episode has aired — and all its secrets are out on the table —Janina Gavankar (Tessa) is free to share her thoughts on what went down and how the character she signed on to play morphed into the woman responsible for the show’s entire mythology.
"I didn't know I was playing Qetsiyah! I thought the character was some snarky girl named Tessa," Janina told TVGuide.com about learning her true identity on the show. “I knew nothing. I was in Washington D.C. waiting for my sister to have a baby, I got a call that The Vampire Diaries wanted me to do an arc, but if I wanted to do it I had to leave tomorrow. So I got on a plane and flew to Atlanta. As usual I said, ‘Fantastic. Let me read the material.’ They send me sides, which give me no information, but when I got a script it ends up being 18 pages of monologue. I was ushered to my dressing room with a bunch of DVDs in hand and stared at the wall for a second like, ‘What have I gotten myself into?’”
In last night’s episode, we learned that in an effort to restore the balance between life and death after Qetsiyah created immortality, the universe created shadow selves (doppelgangers) of Silas and Amara (Silas’s true love). Over the last two millennia, Qetsiyah has had to watch the two doppelgangers fall in love over and over again, explaining why Katherine loved Stefan and why Elena (Nina Dobrev) can’t seem to shake her feelings for him. So will Qetsiyah find herself drawn to Stefan, her original love’s doppelganger?
“Absolutely, that's inevitable,” Janina said. “But he's not the first [doppelganger] she's watched, so she has a lot of restraint. But it is hard. You'll see moments of her staring at him and trying not to fall in love.”
In this sense, Qetsiyah and Damon (Ian Somerhalder) seem to find themselves in similar situations, both desperately in love with characters bound to others by fate.
“She warns Damon about his future, that he has no shot, because she identifies with Damon a lot,” Janina said of Qetsiyah. “She feels bad for him.”
As for whether we’ll ever feel bad for Qetsiyah, who has so far proved herself to be utterly crazy?
“I think in moments they [the fans] will root for her because anybody who thinks about her position will understand why she's doing things,” Janina said. “But I do think that they're going to find her to be a bit extreme and scary and ruthless. So, people will either love her or despise her.”
What do you think about Qetsiyah? Do you feel for her? Let us know in the comments below!