It’s that confidence that Ramakrishnan says she hopes to infuse in Devi, for ideally many seasons to come. “In a later episode, Devi’s trying to figure out her identity because she feels too Indian, but sometimes not Indian enough,” Ramakrishnan says. “When I was Devi’s age, I could relate to that feeling of being the odd one out out.” Because of that, she wants viewers to feel a sense of pride, whether they’re South Asian or a different culture. “There’s really somebody—and something—for everybody.”
Believe me, there is. Never Have I Ever has the resident hottie (get ready to crush on Paxton Hall-Yoshida, played by the charismatic Darren Barnet), a hilarious therapist played by Niecy Nash, and even tennis great John McEnroe appears as the narrator. (I’d tell you why, but that’s kind of a spoiler).
But best of all is Ramakrishnan, who is an absolute delight as the boy-crazy, hot-tempered Devi. In the first few minutes of the pilot, she prays for a few essentials—like being invited to a party with drugs “just so I have the opportunity to say, ‘No cocaine for me, I’m good.'” There’s a boyfriend request, too: “I just want him to be a stone-cold hottie who could rock me all night long.”
Ramakrishnan says unlike Devi, getting a boyfriend and losing her virginity was never something she actively sought out in high school. Where they do align: “We are very similar in terms of academics,” she says. “I was always on top of my game and trying to be the best at everything. I was a perfectionist.” Naturally, she connected with Kaling and Lang—two of the hardest working people in Hollywood—who gave Ramakrishnan valuable advice on her last day of filming: “Stay authentic. And no matter what, don’t try to be anybody else but me.”
Jessica Radloff is the Glamour West Coast editor. You can follow her on Instagram at @jessicaradloff14.