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The 20-year-old actress, who joined the Netflix show for its second season, tells PEOPLE that she was grateful Kaling's visit was a surprise. "I would have been in my head about that entire time [we were shooting]," she says.
"She couldn't have been nicer," Suri continues of Kaling, 42. "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."
Never Have I Ever, which first premiered in April 2020, stars Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as Devi, a modern-day first-generation Indian American teenage girl navigating high school.
Suri plays transfer student Aneesa in season 2 of the teen comedy, which dropped on Netflix Thursday.
"She just sort of naturally embodies everything that Devi wants to be," she says of her character. "She's effortlessly confident, she's sporty, people take a liking to her almost instantaneously and as a result of that, that sort of triggers Devi in her inner insecurities."
Suri, who has previously appeared in episodes of Fresh Off the Boat and Atypical among other shows, adds that Aneesa was her most "complex" role yet.
"That was really delicious as an actor to be able to delve into some substance," she says.
The young star also reflects on spending time with Ramakrishnan, 19, on set, noting that she was impressed by the show's diversity both in front of and behind the camera.
"Bonding with another brown girl on set — for me as Megan, not even as Megan the actor — was really cool," she says of Ramakrishnan.
"I've never been a part of a project where I've seen so many people that look like myself," she continues. "Not just on screen but really actually behind the camera. My first director Lena Khan is a Muslim Indian woman, we have so many Indian writers — and not to mention all of season 2 is directed by women."
Season 2 of Never Have I Ever is available to stream on Netflix.