‘Big Sky’ Star Janina Gavankar Reveals Actor She Most Often Improvs With

by Taylor Cunningham
(Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for VF)

Some of the most memorable Big Sky moments between Ren and Donno are unscripted.

During an installment of Ladies Night with Perri Nemiroff, Ren Buller actress Janina Gavankar admitted that she loves to improve scenes with Ryan O’Nan, the star behind Donno.

O’Nan is also a Big Sky writer-producer. So Gavankar felt emboldened to try adding a few lines to a scene one day. And the experience opened the flood gates for future improvs.

“You never really know how much you’re gonna get away with,” she admitted during the podcast. “But the first thing that we shot together was this thing in the car … Tanya’s in the back there are no lines in the scenes, and I look at him and I just kind of like motion to my seatbelt like, ‘Put your seatbelt on.’ And he said, ‘it’s itchy on my neck.’ And they kept it in the episode.”

“Oh, ya’ll, if you’re just gonna let us say things and you’re gonna keep it in the episode, we just gonna do that forever,” she recalled thinking once she caught the line in the final cut.

From that moment on, Janina Gavankar and Ryan O’Nan made it a point to add as many unscripted words as possible.

Janina Gavankar has an All-Time Favorite Improv Moment

Out of all the unscripted lines between Gavankar and O’Nan, a recent murder scene is Gavankar’s proudest moment.

“So, I think my favorite thing that stayed was pretty recent,” she continued. “So, I stab a guy in the back. He goes down. And then we kind of look at each other. And then I go, ‘are you thirsty?’ And he goes, maybe some milk.’ And then I just go and find it. It’s not on the page. We just kind of did it.”

So make sure to keep an eye out for random exchanges between this season’s Big Sky bad guys. Because chances are, the lines were not in the script.

“That’s basically it,” Gavankar shared. “Any time you see the two of us in a scene together, we’re pretty much making it up.”

When Will ‘Big Sky’ Return

This week’s dramatic Big Sky left us with some major cliffhangers. But unfortunately, it was the last episode of 2021.

Most of our favorite television series will return early next month, but according to Matt & JessBig Sky probably won’t be back on ABC until February 2022.

The reason prime time TV takes a break during the holidays is because viewers tend to lose interest amidst the busyness of the season. And often, network holiday specials take attention away from regular series.

But this year, Big Sky decided to take a longer break instead of competing against the 2022 Winter Olympics.