Jaren Lewison Revealed That His Early Messages With Costar Maitreyi Ramakrishnan Were "Cringey"

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BuzzFeed 19 July, 2021 - 12:35pm 8 views

Does Devi end up with Paxton?

When the show returned on Thursday, audiences saw Devi navigate her feelings for popular jock Paxton Hall-Yoshida (Darren Barnet) and her former nemesis Ben Gross (Jaren Lewison). By the season finale, the story was officially brought full circle and she ultimately chose Paxton over Ben. PEOPLE.comWhat Never Have I Ever's Season 2 Finale Means for Devi's Romantic Future: 'So Much to Explore'

Did Gigi Hadid narrate Never have I ever?

Kaling and Ramakrishnan discuss the Season 2 finale, favorite jokes and last-minute addition of model Gigi Hadid, who replaced Chrissy Teigen as the narrator of one episode following accusations of cyberbullying in May. USA TODAY'Never Have I Ever': Mindy Kaling, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan break down that Season 2 love triangle

Read full article at BuzzFeed

'Never Have I Ever' cast breaks down Season 2 'frenemy' arc

Los Angeles Times 20 July, 2021 - 11:02am

But when it comes to Devi’s relationship with Aneesa (Megan Suri) , whose transfer makes her the only other South Asian girl at Sherman Oaks High, there’s more than meets the eye.

Last season, Devi reflected on the trauma of watching her father die, which briefly left her paralyzed by psychosomatic shock. Now, with a new, “cool” Indian student on the scene — one who has dealt with her own mental health challenges — she starts the relationship off on the wrong foot, overlooking the bonds they may share as South Asian teens.

The tennis legend opens up about narrating Netflix’s ‘Never Have I Ever,’ the pressures of elite sport, and why he’s concerned for Naomi Osaka.

And what stands in the way of their friendship is nothing new for women of color: societal expectations and stereotypes.

After all, women of color too often feel compelled to compete for success, stemming from the myth that there can only be one marginalized person to succeed, especially within traditionally white-dominated environments.

“I think there needs to be some grace granted to Devi this season, because of some of the faulty beliefs she has about her culture, or the idea that there is only room for one, I think are not total figments of her imagination,” explained executive story editor Amina Munir, who wrote the Season 2 episode "... had an Indian frenemy.” “Because when you still look at the way that racial diversity is in highly competitive spaces, there is often only one woman of color in a position of power.”

“When someone arrives at [Devi’s] school and starts getting all the things that she wants and looks like her, naturally she’s going to feel jealous and feel competitive in a way that I think is wrongheaded,” Munir said. “But Devi is someone with good intentions who makes bad decisions very often.”

Ramakrishnan added that for South Asian people, what contributes to the myth of only one is when someone finally achieves an esteemed position and “they’re exhausted and someone else knocks at their door ready to claim what they fought hard for”: “It’s like, ‘Excuse me. Hello. What? You just came here. I fought tooth and nail for this.’”

Referring to a male classmate who problematically refers to Aneesa as “Devi 2.0,” Ramakrishnan said, “[I]n this case, [Devi’s] saying, ‘I have spent years knowing Trent and Trent still doesn’t know [me], but now he’s talking to [Aneesa] about soccer.’ But it’s so crazy because you want Devi to realize quicker, ‘Girl! You’re just jealous,’ and she knows it.”

After defying stereotype in small, potent roles in “The Night Of,” “Ramy” and more, the actor finds her biggest platform yet in Netflix’s “Never Have I Ever.”

While Devi is threatened by Aneesa replacing her, Aneesa sees it as an opportunity to befriend someone who understands her.

“Aneesa’s whole thing is that she’s just easygoing and she likes to make friends and just be someone that people can sort of gravitate towards,” Suri said. “But I think what I was pulling from it was that she clearly came from a space, her previous school, where she was bullied for her eating disorder — and what we come to find out, as she says to Devi in the locker in my first episode, [is] that it’s really nice to have an[other] Indian kid once in a while.”

While tension may simmer onscreen between Devi and Aneesa, there’s offscreen love and mutual respect between Ramakrishnan and Suri. (“I’ll gas you up, Megan,” Ramakrishnan said in the midst of complimenting her costar, noting that having two South Asian teens on the show was “awesome.”)

Ultimately, even Devi and Aneesa’s conflict can be traced to the broader pressures both face to balance being “Indian enough” and “American enough,” not personal animus.

“Aneesa is great at code-switching from being with aunties to being with Devi in a way that I think Devi is envious of, because that is a skill that is something that is very hard to do to, like, occupy many different roles in society,” Munir said. “As a young Indian teenager, it is brutal. And I think these two girls do such a beautiful job portraying it on screen.”

Ramakrishnan explained that she relates to Devi’s arc the most when it comes to “that feeling of wanting to always be perfect”: from doing well on exams to checking the correct boxes on her COVID-19 screening paperwork she identifies with that fear of failure.

“You’re like, ‘Crap, I messed that up’ or ‘That was a really bad situation’ or just trying to be a good daughter or just trying to be a good friend,” she said. “Devi [goes] through that the entire season, obviously towards the guys, but also her mother and her cousin and her friends who she lets down when Eleanor says, ‘You really Devi-ed this one up.’”

Devi, who is still working through the trauma of her father’s death, is repeatedly labeled “crazy” for her behavior, while Aneesa worries about being reduced to her eating disorder. It turns out the two have more in common than they may realize, but the pressure to be perfect distorts their bond.

“We see at the end of the season, Devi just thinks she’s a terrible person,” Ramakrishnan said. “I’ve been there. It sucks so much because you’re just like, ‘I don’t know what to do anymore. I feel like I’m messing things up for everyone. I’m a terrible person that ruins people’s lives.’ And funny enough, it’s a Season 2 arc, but that’s a quote from Season 1 — that’s just how Devi feels all around in her life.”

Critic Lorraine Ali writes of seeing her immigrant upbringing in the San Fernando Valley reflected in the Mindy Kaling Netflix comedy ‘Never Have I Ever.’

“But now you’re adding the layer of like, ‘I’m not the right South Asian daughter,’” she continued. “‘I can’t even be my culture. I can’t be a pseudo girlfriend for these two guys I’m cheating on. I can’t be a proper best friend who’s there for her girls. What can I do?’ It’s exhausting and it sucks.”

Ramakrishnan knows firsthand that feeling like a failure sometimes is normal — and that our missteps are part of what makes us who we are.

“I personally still go through it now, admittedly, but it happens and you’ve just got to accept the mess that you are, which is why I think Devi is still redeemable, somehow still her lovable self,” she said. “Because we’re all messes.”

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Danielle Broadway is a writer and editor working as an Entertainment and Arts intern for the Los Angeles Times. She has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in English from Cal State Long Beach and has bylines in LA Weekly, Cosmopolitan, Byrdie, Black Girl Nerds and more. She’s an activist and nerd that is proud to represent the Black excellence in her family.

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan Details 'Never Have I Ever' S2

ET Canada 20 July, 2021 - 11:02am

Jaren Lewison opens up on ‘Never Have I Ever’s complex love triangle

The News International 20 July, 2021 - 11:02am

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Netflix hit series Never Have I Ever has been all the rage ever since the second season of the show was dropped recently.

“I know #TeamBen has been heartbroken over the finale moment, however, I truly think it creates some incredible conflict,” he said.

“Paxton will be a boyfriend for the first time, Devi will navigate a romantic relationship, and we have no idea what Ben will do. It’s juicy, interesting, complex, and messy, which I love,” he went on to say.

Talking about the love triangle and how it has kept fans on their toes, Lewison said: “I think we provide a modern spin on the triangle. Our show is female-driven, and it is really exciting for viewers to see a south Asian woman be at the center of the triangle.”

“Additionally, it is jaw-dropping at times. It’s witty, fresh, and you’ll be screaming at the TV one way or another. That’s good TV!” he added.

“I think I have to say I am team Ben, but obviously, I think it is super important that Devi learns to love herself and continues to explore that,” he said.

“She needs to grow and mature to find out which boy is best for her when she is ready for an adult relationship!”

Talking about the show’s focus on diversity, Lewison said: “As an actor, the dream is to be a part of something that means more to people than a typical show.”

“Interacting with fans who explain how important certain representation was for them, and how incredible it felt for them to see themselves or their communities represented on screen is amazing. I am so proud to be a part of this groundbreaking story,” he added. 

Darren Barnet Reveals Whether He's Team Paxton or Ben, and We're Here For His Answer

POPSUGAR 20 July, 2021 - 11:02am

If you've watched Netflix's Never Have I Ever, you've likely found yourself swooning over Darren Barnet, aka Paxton. And don't worry, you're definitely not alone. From that luscious head of hair to his gorgeous smile and let's not forget those abs, there's just so much to admire about him. Sadly for us, Darren already appears to be in a relationship, but if you've ever wondered what it's like to date him, we highly suggest you keep reading.

The second season of Never Have I Ever ends with Paxton and Devi going public with their relationship. Now that they're officially dating, what relationship advice would you give Paxton?

To stop caring what his friends and what the public thinks about the relationship. I know the whole thing about it is that he's never been with a girl that is so low on the social totem pole and his friends certainly are not behind it and I know they've been through their struggles and she played him, but just not care. If it makes you happy, it makes you happy.

I know we're still waiting for a renewal, but if there were to be a season three of Never Have I Ever, what would you like to see next for Devi and Paxton?

I would just love to see how it plays out with them being together as an exclusive couple. That's going to bring on a whole new set of challenges, and I think there's a lot more to explore. There's a lot more for Devi to learn about Paxton, for Paxton to learn about himself, and for Devi to learn about herself. And when that all comes to fruition, who knows? They may fall in love or realize they're better as friends or absolutely hate each other, so you never really know.

Let's settle this once and for all: are you Team Paxton or Team Ben?

I always see this question as an inevitable trap, so I'm going to go with Team Devi.

Who was your first celebrity crush?

My first celebrity crush was Posh Spice (Victoria Beckham).

What is your signature scent or go-to cologne?

I love Yves Saint Laurent and there's another one I love called CJ Black.

What's your go-to coffee/tea order?

Tea would be a green tea with ginger, and coffee would be an oat milk latte with cinnamon powder on the top.

What is the best trip you've ever been on?

I haven't traveled much, to be honest. It's interesting that right before the pandemic was when I got the show, and before that, I was way too broke to do anything. I was too broke to go and get guacamole at Chipotle, so I haven't really traveled much, and then the quarantine hit. But most recently, I did go to New Orleans, and absolutely loved it! I have a trip to Costa Rica coming up, so hopefully that will be one that goes down in the books.

Do you have a favorite pick-up line? If so, what is it?

"Hello." It's all about being natural. The harder you try and break the ice, the more you're going to fall through it.

My biggest turnoff is a girl that's always on her phone or always on social media and someone who does something for you just expecting something back, really cannot stand that. That's a pet peeve with all people. Turn-on, I love intense eye contact. That really, really gets me, and I love a girl that doesn't try to sway her opinions on things to try and please me. If you have an opinion, you have an opinion. Fight me on it if you want to.

What would your dating profile say about you?

"Hello, please message for more information."

What is your ideal first date?

Definitely not a movie. How awkward is it to sit next to someone in silence for two hours that you have no idea anything about? I would say something active. I love a hike or a walk through nature. That can be really nice. A walk through nature, and then I'd say a nice lunch on a boardwalk or a beach to end it. You can learn a lot about a person.

What is your first date outfit?

Probably a nice pair of jeans, a very clean pair of Chuck Taylors. I love Chuck Taylors, I just do, and a nice button-down shirt with the sleeves rolled up, showing maybe a little bit of chest.

Are you likely to make the first move? If so, what is it?

Oh, God, I don't really know. I was notoriously shy with girls growing up and I still think I might have some of that lingering. I think it's just like, "Hey!" If I see someone I've been catching eyes with, it would be like, "Hey, I noticed we were catching eye contact. I just want to introduce myself. Hi." Otherwise, no, I think I'd probably be a chicken and I'd just wait for them to come over to me.

What is the most romantic thing you've ever done or that's ever been done for you?

Hmm, good Lord, there's just so many. [laughs] Oh my gosh. Oh, oh, this is great, this is great. This is when I was seven years old, but it was wonderful. There was a girl I was very much in love with, or child love, or whatever you call it, and I would pick her a flower every day. I'd walk to school and pick her a flower and give it to her, a small little flower from the grass, right? And then I kept getting very annoyed that they didn't smell good because they were little grass flowers. So I brought her a flower and I was like, "Tomorrow's flower is going to smell so good, just wait." And I went home and got the flower and then I sprayed it with my mom's perfume and I brought it to school for her so I could give her a nice smelling flower. Very proud of that.

What is the best love advice you've received?

You can't ever fully love someone or understand their love for you until you learn to love yourself. I think it's just very dangerous to get into a relationship, and I think a lot of people get into a relationship because they're longing for the feeling of love and acceptance and they think that's going to fill the void. The void is created by you, and it can only be filled by you, and anything that you express your love upon afterward and anyone you're in love with afterward will only reap the benefits of that anyway.

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Jaren Lewison all praises for ‘Never Have I Ever’s continued focus on diversity

Geo News 19 July, 2021 - 04:37am

Mindy Kaling's hit series, Never Have I Ever has become the talk of town since the second season of the teen show dropped on Netflix.

“I know #TeamBen has been heartbroken over the finale moment, however, I truly think it creates some incredible conflict,” he said.

“Paxton will be a boyfriend for the first time, Devi will navigate a romantic relationship, and we have no idea what Ben will do. It’s juicy, interesting, complex, and messy, which I love,” he went on to say.

Speaking in regards to the love triangle and how it has kept fans on their toes, Lewison said: “I think we provide a modern spin on the triangle. Our show is female-driven, and it is really exciting for viewers to see a south Asian woman be at the center of the triangle.”

“Additionally, it is jaw-dropping at times. It’s witty, fresh, and you’ll be screaming at the TV one way or another. That’s good TV!” he added.

“I think I have to say I am team Ben, but obviously, I think it is super important that Devi learns to love herself and continues to explore that,” he said.

“She needs to grow and mature to find out which boy is best for her when she is ready for an adult relationship!”

Talking about the show’s focus on diversity, Lewison said: “As an actor, the dream is to be a part of something that means more to people than a typical show.”

“Interacting with fans who explain how important certain representation was for them, and how incredible it felt for them to see themselves or their communities represented on screen is amazing. I am so proud to be a part of this groundbreaking story,” he added. 

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