It’s been a good year for Janina Gavankar. She has a role in The Morning Show, one of the most talked-about new series of 2019 and they’re working on the second season. And she co-stars with Ben Affleck in The Way Back, playing his ex-wife. And, of course, she was the one who took the House Sussex Christmas photo featuring Archie Harrison Windsor-Mountbatten staring curiously into the camera: 

Here’s Janina at the premiere of The Way Back last night in Los Angeles. They seem close but I don’t read anything romantic here. She looks almost protective of him, like there’s a sibling vibe and that definitely tracks since it’s been a couple of vulnerable weeks for Ben who’s been doing most of the press and talking candidly about his personal struggles. The Way Back opens this Friday and reviews are still embargoed but the big release this week is Onward so it’s not like The Way Back is going to win the box office but if it comes in around $15 million, it’ll be considered a win for a drama, especially if it holds up critically. That’s going to be what’s interesting to see later this week, when the reviews start coming in. 

As for the friendship between Ben and Janina, admittedly my first thought was that it brings him on step closer to the Sussexes and there’s a lot of common ground here. Harry and Meghan’s mental health advocacy aligns with Ben’s candour about his addiction and he could find an ally in Harry and Meghan for his Eastern Congo Initiative. Over the last couple of weeks, there have been all kinds of rumours about the Sussexes breaking into Hollywood and the kinds of partnerships they’ll be forming. Some of that is bullsh-t, and we’ll get more into it later, but to say that the Sussexes aren’t at all thirsty for certain celebrity connections would be unrealistic. It’s going to be interesting to see the Sussex celebrity friend circle expand – and who will be included.