The fourth and final season of 'Never Have I Ever' premieres on June 8. Here's everything to know about the show's stars on and off-screen
Never Have I Ever is a whole new kind of high school comedy.
The Netflix show premiered in April 2020 and follows first-generation Indian American teenager Devi Vishwakumar (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) as she navigates the friendships, relationships and pressures of high school life.
Mindy Kaling created and executive produced the show, which is about to enter its fourth and final season on Netflix. At the red carpet premiere of season 3 of Never Have I Ever, Kaling told PEOPLE that the characters are based on different sides of her personality.
"I am impatient, like Nalini and sort of no nonsense," she explained. "I feel, like [I have] the same attitude about young people and efficiency that she has."
"But I really do relate on a very, like, cellular level to Devi and her want — her desire of being loved and accepted and wanting a boyfriend,” Kaling added. “That all feels so — that really mirrors my childhood.”
"Four seasons for a high school show felt like it made sense," Kaling told Entertainment Tonight. "They can't be in high school forever.”
“The great thing about doing it on Netflix is that we got to tell stories that you wouldn't necessarily be able to tell in traditional network shows and so we feel good,” she added. “We really told the story of this 15-year-old girl and that felt like the perfect amount of time."
Here’s everything to know about the cast of Never Have I Ever.
Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as Devi Vishwakumar
Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, 21, plays Devi Vishwakumar, the show's teenage protagonist, who struggles to navigate the social politics of high school as an academically advanced but socially slow-developing “nerd,” as Kaling has described her.
“Nerds are not only the wallflowers and the quiet ones,” Kaling told Variety ahead of the show’s premiere in 2020. “We’re ambitious, we have obnoxious personalities sometimes, we want to have sex and dreams like all the other kids ... I felt lucky to be able to do a show about an Indian nerd who’s also badly behaved ... because I’m deeply familiar with it.
At the start of season 1, Devi is in a wheelchair, suffering from temporary paralysis brought on by the sudden death of her father. She recovers, but still carries the social stigma of her illness and of her loss. Devi also struggles with her mother’s strict rules for dating (or, specifically, not dating) and the differences between how she’s being raised at home with her family’s traditional values and what her peers are allowed to do. Despite her mother’s edicts, Devi is on a quest to lose her virginity with the school’s heartthrob, Paxton Hall-Yoshida.
Eventually, she becomes involved in a love triangle and dates both Paxton and Ben Gross at the same time.
"There are definitely times where I truly worry if Devi is a redeemable character," Ramakrishnan told PEOPLE. "Somehow, she's still liked by people. And I'm like, okay, she definitely has made her mistakes. I don't think she should have dated two guys at once. That was a bad idea, as much as it is nice to see the brown girl play two white boys for once. In retrospect, not the best, but that's my silver lining."
To help prepare for the role, Ramakrishnan took harp lessons as her character is a skilled harpist. (When the show wrapped, she told PEOPLE that she even took the harp back home with her to Canada.)
The first-generation daughter of Eelam Tamil immigrants from Sri Lanka, Ramakrishnan grew up in Canada and identifies as Tamil Canadian. While Devi is her biggest character to date, the actress has also voiced roles in Turning Red and My Little Pony.
Poorna Jagannathan as Dr. Nalini Vishwakumar
Poorna Jagannathan, 50, stars as Nalini Vishwakumar, Devi’s mother, a doctor who moved with her husband from India to California to give their family more opportunities. After her husband’s death, Nalini struggles with her own grief and raising a daughter who has the sensibilities of an American teenager while also trying to instill a strong sense of the traditional Indian culture Nalini grew up in.
During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, Jagannathan helped put together a table read of Never Have I Ever that raised more than $100,000 to benefit GiveIndia, an online platform for people to donate to India’s pandemic relief efforts.
"Our fundraiser came together so quickly and could not have been done without the support of Mindy [Kaling], Lang [Fisher] — who created a show so rooted in the modern South Asian experience — and Netflix, who swooped in to make it happen," Jagannathan told PEOPLE at the cast's charitable season 2 table read. "All three of us — Maitreyi [Ramakrishnan], Richa [Moorjani] and myself — had been feeling so down and helpless as we watched our feeds explode with news and overwhelming needs in India and I'm just grateful we were able to play a small part in using our platforms however we can to try and help."
Jagannathan has appeared in shows like Big Little Lies and Better Call Saul, and collaborated with writer/director Yael Farber to create Nirbhaya, a play about sexual violence in India that won the 2013 Amnesty International Award.
She was born in Tunisia and grew up in Pakistan, Ireland, India, Brazil and Argentina before coming to the United States for college and becoming an American citizen. She’s married to Azad Oommen, who works in education nonprofits, and they have a son.
Darren Barnet as Paxton Hall-Yoshida
Though Darren Barnet, 32, who plays Devi's first love interest Paxton Hall-Yoshida, originally thought he was going to be one of the "smaller characters" on the show, he quickly became the internet’s new boyfriend.
“I've been really thrilled that I did enough with him to make him more than just the jock heartthrob,” Barnet told PEOPLE in 2020. “And I think that's kind of why a lot of people are gravitating towards him. So I'm happy with that.”
The currently single Barnet was born in Los Angeles. Before Never Have I Ever, he had appeared in a few episodes of major shows like This Is Us and Criminal Minds while working at SoulCycle in Hollywood. At the studio, Barnet greeted many celebrity clients, including David Beckham and actress Tia Mowry.
“Meeting them in gym shorts and no makeup, in a very vulnerable way, I wasn’t as intimidated as I thought I’d be,” he told PEOPLE. “Their levels of success as actors didn’t seem so far away from me when I met them in such a humble environment.”
John McEnroe as the narrator
Tennis legend John McEnroe, 64, is the narrator in each episode of Never Have I Ever, giving voice-over commentary to the developments in Devi’s life and making a cameo in an episode. In casting him, Kaling explained that Devi’s character has a temper that sometimes gets out of control, like McEnroe himself famously had on the tennis court.
"One thing that's common for a lot of Indian parents is a love of tennis. It's like an English Anglophile kind of thing," Kaling told USA Today. "When we decided that the character of Devi would have a temper, the McEnroe thing just kept coming back: you know, someone who's high-achieving but is undermined by their own temper."
She added, "He has really high standards for himself and everyone around him. We kept talking about him and were like, 'Wait, should he be doing the narration?' Devi's dad loved tennis, and it timed out that he would have grown up watching McEnroe."
McEnroe was born in Germany as his father was stationed there while serving in the U.S. Air Force. He has won seven Grand Slam titles over the course of his tennis career.
He is married to musician Patty Smyth, and has five children: three from his first marriage to actress Tatum O’Neal, and two with Smyth.
Jaren Lewison as Ben Gross
Jaren Lewison, 22, plays Ben Gross, Devi’s academic rival turned love interest.
As the series progressed, Devi become involved in a love triangle with Ben and Paxton. "I think that we have no idea how Ben is going to handle this," Lewison told PEOPLE at the end of season 2. "That longing look at the end, I think that he has a tremendous inner conflict between his feelings towards Devi, which he is not going to be shutting off because it's kind of impossible."
He added of his character's relationship with Devi: “It's really cool to be a part of a relationship as an actor that has so much depth behind those two characters and that allows you to explore so much. And it's really fun getting to do it with Maitreyi, who's one of my best friends in real life."
Lewison was born in Dallas, Texas and is currently single. He started acting at age 5 when he appeared on several episodes of Barney & Friends and attended the University of Southern California while filming Never Have I Ever. He graduated from the university in 2022.
Lee Rodriguez as Fabiola Torres
Lee Rodriguez plays Fabiola Torres, Devi and Eleanor’s robot-building best friend.
Like her character, Rodriguez, 23, identifies as queer. She came out on National Coming Out Day in 2020. “It’s a very important story to tell to young people, especially some people who are going through that and don't necessarily know how,” she told Teen Vogue. “[I hoped] just to let them know that they're not alone and maybe hopefully give them courage to be able to do that for themselves. To question their own sexuality and maybe be open about it and not be ashamed of it."
Rodriguez was born in Fresno, California, and has appeared in episodes of Grown-ish and The Good Doctor.
Richa Moorjani as Kamala
Richa Moorjani, 34, plays Kamala, Devi’s cousin who is staying with the family while she finishes her studies at CalTech.
The actress has appeared on episodes of The Mindy Project, NCIS: Los Angeles and 9-1-1. She was born in the San Francisco Bay area and has been married to Bharat Rishi Moorjani since 2019.
Ramona Young as Eleanor Wong
Ramona Young plays Eleanor Wong, Devi and Fabiola’s theatre-loving best friend.
Wong, 25, was born in Los Angeles and spent her early childhood split between California and her parents’ native Hong Kong. She’s appeared on The Santa Clarita Diet, Man Seeking Woman and The Real O’Neals.
Sendhil Ramamurthy as Mohan Vishwakumar
Sendhil Ramamurthy plays Mohan Vishwakumar, Devi’s father, who died just before the show starts. Grappling with his death is a big plot point of the show for Devi and her mother, and he appears on the show in flashbacks and during times when the women wish he were there for guidance.
Ramamurthy, 49, was born in Chicago and grew up in San Antonio, Texas. He starred in Heroes and the Beauty & the Beast television reboot, among other shows and movies. The actor has been married to Olga Sosnovska since 1999, and they have two children.
He has also known costar John McEnroe since he was 8 years old. He told PEOPLE that he was the ball boy for one of McEnroe’s matches in Texas. True to character, the tennis great lost his temper and broke a tennis racket — but Ramamurthy grabbed it and had McEnroe sign it. It’s a keepsake he has to this day.
Megan Suri as Aneesa
Megan Suri joined the cast in season 2 as Aneesa, an exchange student who becomes involved with Ben.
When she was filming season 2, Suri told PEOPLE Kaling came to the set for a surprise visit. "She couldn't have been nicer," she said. "I actually made her laugh on set — that was back seven months ago perhaps, but I'm still living off of it. Just knowing that I made Mindy Kaling laugh literally gets me through some of my darkest times."
Suri, 24, was born in Downey, California. She’s currently single. Before Never Have I Ever, she appeared on shows like Modern Family, Fresh Off the Boat and Bones.
Ranjita Chakravarty as Nirmala
Ranjita Chakravarty plays Nirmala, Devi’s grandmother and Nalini’s mother-in-law, who comes to California to live with the family and help care for them. In one episode, Nirmala creates a Golu, a festive display for the Hindu festival Navaratri, which features a "DIY Sanjay Gupta" figurine.
Gupta said on CNN that he wasn’t sure how he felt about being included in the Golu, but that he was happy to see the display in the show. "Watching that clip as an Indian-American and seeing the mother with the deities set up, I never imagined in my life that I would see it represented that way in a Netflix show," Gupta said. "It's amazing for me just to see that. But mocked or flattered, I don't know. I'm not sure which."
Chakravarty, 65, was born in New Dehli, India. Never Have I Ever is her first major Hollywood role. In fact, she’s had a successful career in IT and online security for decades and has worked at Stanford University for 24 years. While she was filming the show, she kept her job, taking vacation time for day shoots and sometimes working remotely from hotels in Los Angeles.
Niecy Nash as Dr. Jamie Ryan
Niecy Nash plays Dr. Jamie Ryan, Devi’s therapist, who helps her through the grief of losing her father and the temporary paralysis she experiences after his death. Ryan also helps Nalini work through issues she has parenting Devi while coping with her own grief over losing her husband.
An actor who has appeared in shows like Reno 911!, Claws and Scream Queens, Nash, 53, was born in Palmdale, California. She’s married to singer Jessica Betts, and has three children with ex-husband Don Nash: Dominic, Donielle, and Dia. Donielle and Dia have both had roles on Never Have I Ever.
"Both of my daughters auditioned for the series separate and independent of each other, and separate and independent of me, and they both won roles on the show, so season 2 we will all be on the same television series!” Nash told SheKnows in 2020. “It's a family affair. I think when you do it well, it looks easy, and now they know that it's not.”
Anirudh Pisharody as Des
Anirudh Pisharody joined the cast in season 3 as a new love interest for Devi.
Pisharody told PEOPLE that as a South Asian actor, being part of a show with so much representation has been really meaningful to him. "Oftentimes when you're an actor, especially a South Asian actor, most sets you're on you never get to see that many people who look like you on both the cast and crew side," he says. "So coming to work every day was just awesome."
"These opportunities are very few and far between," he continued. "I'm really happy that this [show] is there for kids who are growing up now. It'll give that next generation just a level of, 'OK, I can do this if I want to.' "
Pisharody, 29, has been on television shows like 9-1-1 and Big Sky. He was born in India but grew up in Austin, Texas. He’s married to film director Jill V. Dae, and the couple have their own production company, Black Velvet Films.
Deacon Phillippe as Parker
Michael Cimino as Ethan
Michael Cimino, 23, joins the cast of Never Have I Ever in season 4 as Ethan. He is described as "the new heartthrob of Sherman Oaks High."
Fans will recognize Cimino as the titular character of Hulu's series Love, Victor. He has also appeared in the films Annabelle Comes Home and Senior Year. In addition to acting, the Las Vegas native is a musician, having released his first EP in 2022.
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