Janet Varney’s Korrasami Month

Actor Janet Varney, who provided the voice of Avatar Korra in The Legend of Korra, has dedicated her social media to celebrating the character and her girlfriend Asami. Vaney invited artists to share with her their pictures depicting the couple and she has been showcasing them across her own platforms all month.

You may remember I did an interview with Janet a while back. She has always been enthusiastic about the character she played on the show and has always been supportive of fans.

“Doing that show, and then doing my podcast – the JV Club – they both came into the world at around the same time. I think round about that time I was also doing Burning Love, which also came out. So that was a little triangle of three things that I really, personally loved and cherished, and they were also things that were very well received.

I was very vulnerable about them because I was very close to all of them, and luckily they all had an emotional impact on people. More so than any other stuff that I’ve been really proud of. It’s just a little different when you get feedback from people that is a little more emotional, or just appreciative on a level of… ‘listen, this speaks to something that I’ve been through personally’. Or ‘my daughter went through this and it brought us closer together.’ 

It really changed my response to my own work; it really changed my relationship to my work.

Now I love doing stuff that’s just frivolous and fun, but that foundation that gets built 

underneath where you feel like you’re doing something that is having a lasting impact on people. It’s just a very addictive feeling. 

Both of my parents are teachers and I watch the impact they had on people’s lives, and the impact they had on people. My dad will have people come up to him and say “You taught me in 1985 and you’re the reason I became [blank]!” So far I don’t think anyone’s said “You’re the reason I’m in prison.” 

In general, I saw that impact that my parents had and I always have carried around a little bit of performers’ guilt. So these things, and Korra is the biggest anchor; those are those moments where you think ‘oh god! I’m so grateful that Mike and Bryan pulled me into something that affected other people’. I’m not the person who made it, I’m just the person who gets to stand as an ambassador for it.”

Korrasami

The show made headlines when its final episode aired and ended on a romantic shot of Korra holding hands with Asami. At the time, programs aimed at younger audiences were still hesitant to dare to show any romance between two characters of the same gender. It felt like a big break through and since then we have seen other shows take further steps.

As a way of acknowledging how much of an impact this had not only on the industry, but on fans too, Varney is keeping it alive this February.

There was stuff before Korra, and it maybe didn’t get as loud a voice. So, I think the whole Avatar team felt really honoured to be part of something that was seen as sort of a watermark in some way.

One of the most exciting things is that I look forward to within a few more years (and certainly within a decade) of people looking back on what a big deal it was and going ‘God, isn’t that crazy what a big deal it was?’ It seems so silly that that had to be a big deal. That we wouldn’t have already crossed that threshold, and that LGBT+ characters wouldn’t just be a part of any form of entertainment. 

The same way that we look back on things. For a mom to say ‘oh god, no one got a PHD when I was in college. You’re supposed to go to college to marry a man.’ Those things where we look back now and are like ‘That’s insane!’

Follow Janet on Instagram or Twitter to get the daily updates!

MORE AVATAR AND KORRA:

Michael Dante DiMartino Interview

Legend of Korra Comics: Irene Koh Interview

Janet Varney Interview

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Joel Cornah
Joel Cornah is an author, journalist, and blogger. He is the author of a number of novels and novellas including; The Sea-Stone Sword, The Spire of Frozen Fire and The Silent Helm, with the upcoming novel The Sky Slayer, expected some time in 2016. He is an editor for The Science-Fiction and Fantasy Network, head of the Doctor Who department, and member of the Tolkien Society. He is a frequent blogger for the Pack of Aces blog, focussing on issues of Asexuality in media, specialising in sci-fi and fantasy.