Have you watched Never Have I Ever yet? Don’t miss out because it’s a refreshing Netflix teen series you can binge within a day.
The story revolves around Devi, a 15-year-old Indian-American girl who navigates her teenage years while coping with her father's death. We laughed, we cried, and most of all, we fell in love with the whole cast because their stories really represented so many teens out there! Here’s what you need to know about the show and its stars:
1. The series is loosely based on Mindy Kaling's childhood.
In an interview, she mentions that Never Have I Ever was inspired by her childhood and she really wanted a young woman’s perspective to be seen through the show. So, she tapped her friend, comedy producer and writer Lang Fisher, to help develop the series.
Lang considers herself a big fan of coming-of-age stories. As co-creators, Mindy and Lang wanted Never Have I Ever to be authentic enough in casting diverse characters with different stories to tell.
2. Maitreyi Ramakrishnan initially dreamed of becoming an animator.
Then she got more interested in theatre and acting when she reached high school. A friend of hers shared Mindy’s tweet about a casting call for an untitled Netflix show. Little did Maitreyi know that she would land the lead role as Devi Vishwakumar in Never Have I Ever. She sent tapes of her delivering some lines before getting the good news from Mindy and Lang. Lucky girl!
3. Darren Barnet is actually 29 years old IRL!
Yup, our newfound high school heartthrob Paxton Hall-Yoshida is played by 29-year-old actor Darren Barnet. After years of taking on minor roles, he finally got his spotlight as the lead hottie in the show!
Another fun fact is that Never Have I Ever premiered on April 27, which also happened to be Darren’s 29th birthday. NBD!
4. “Yoshida” wasn’t originally part of Paxton’s name.
He was supposed to be known as Paxton Hall only. But Mindy and Lang overheard Darren conversing in Japanese with their assistant director. When they found out that Darren has legit Japanese roots, they decided to make Paxton half-Japanese in the series. Oh, did we mention that he also speaks French and Spanish? What a catch!
5. The actresses who play Eleanor and Fabiola served detention in high school.
It looks like Devi's besties were not as good students as they were in the series! In a round of an actual 'Never Have I Ever' game, the two revealed how they ended up in detention. Lee Rodriguez, who plays Fabiola Torres, once posed as her mom and called in sick because she didn’t want to go to school. Her little act was caught and she got sent to the principal’s office the next day.
Ramona Young, who plays Eleanor Wong, skipped a total of 72 classes just to eat ice cream. WTH? She had to make up for it by serving a month and half detention. Hope the ice cream was really worth the trouble!
6. Jaren Lewison used to be a Barney kid.
Before becoming Devi’s overachieving school nemesis Ben Gross, Jaren started his acting career in kiddie shows like Barney & Friends and also a few Barney movies. Look at how cute he was (well, he still is):
Now he’s all grown-up and just took on his first legit lead role in Never Have I Ever. We’re pretty sure this is a new beginning for him!