Maitreyi Ramakrishnan

When casting call went out for the role of a South Asian girl between the age of 15 and 18, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan asked herself, “Why Not Me?” At the moment she probably did not realize the competition for the role; still, a passion fostered by her teachers and supported by her parents, acting, was something she wanted to give a try and now here she is, almost a year later and starring in Mindy Kaling’s new Netflix series Never Have I Ever.

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan was born in Mississauga, Canada, to her parents, father Ram Selvarajah, and mother Kiruthiha Kulendiren, who are from Sri Lanka, and came to Canada to escape the genocide happening in the country. She was the second child of her parents, Maitreyi has an elder brother and going by her social media profiles, the actress is vocal about her origin and affectionate towards her family.

The series from Mindy Kaling is Maitreyi Ramakrishnan’s first professional acting, but being a newcomer has not stopped the actress from being true to who she is. The actress does not like to say she is Sri Lankan by origin, she was born in Canada, and when the press release about her casting went out, she made sure her origin and culture were well defined. The press release and reporting from Deadline stated Maitreyi Ramakrishnan was a Tamil-Canadian actress.

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan is playing Devi Vishwakumar in the Netflix Series Never Have I Ever

Mindy Kaling put out the casting call for her new Netflix series, which went out last year, and the story of the series was about a young Tamil girl living in Canada where she is an overachieving teen. Based partly on her own experience, Mindy Kaling’s new series about the South Asian experience in the Western world and this is probably one of the only shows or movie where a brown ethnicity girl is leading a coming of age drama.

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan was hired for the role of Devi Vishwakumar, the lead of the show who is trying to experience everything in school but is stuck between the cultural side of her relatives and the life she hopes to live like her friends. Due to the difference in culture, Devi never really feels she is on either side of the column; she neither feels at home among her cultural relatives nor does she feels welcomed by her school friends.

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan plays Devi Vishwakumar in the Netflix series Never Have I Ever.Maitreyi Ramakrishnan plays Devi Vishwakumar in the Netflix series Never Have I Ever.
Source: Maitreyi Ramakrishnan Instagram

Trying to please her mother and also be a teenager going to a western school is a struggle for Devi. The opening scene of the first season of Never Have I Ever will let you know what kind of series you are watching. In the first scene, Devi is seen praying in a temple for a hottie “who can rock” her all night long.

Never Have I Ever is set for a 27 April 2020 release, only on Netflix starring Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as Devi, Poorna Jagannathan as Nalini, Sendhil Ramamurthy as Mohan, Richa Moorjani as Kamala, Ramona Young as Eleanor, Lee Rodriguez as Fabiola, Darren Barnet as Paxton Hall-Yoshida and Jaren Lewison as Ben Gross.

Over 15,000 Girls wanted the Role of Devi in Never Have I Ever

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan won the role of Devi from over 15,000 girls who audiotioned.Maitreyi Ramakrishnan won the role of Devi from over 15,000 girls who auditioned.
Source: Maitreyi Ramakrishnan Instagram

Mindy Kaling sent out the casting call for a South Asian teen actress in April of 2019. Maitreyi Ramakrishnan was made aware of the casting by her friend, who helped her shoot her audition tape. They sent the tape to California, where Mindy and her production team were sorting through not only hundreds but thousands of audition tapes.

Maitreyi received a callback, and she thought the call back was made for hundreds of other girls. She sent another tape, and she was made aware of her casting in May of 2019. Maitreyi was with her family, they were all happy for her, and she could not talk to Mindy and her production partner over the phone.

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan was proud Mindy Kaling selected her over 15,000 other girls.Maitreyi Ramakrishnan was proud Mindy Kaling selected her over 15,000 other girls.
Source: Maitreyi Ramakrishnan Instagram

After the casting process was done, Mindy Kaling made the world aware that they received over 15,000 casting tapes for the role of Devi. Maitreyi was shocked and also honored for her selection. While talking about her casting, the actress said the number proves there are thousands of people who can play a brown character in TV shows and movies, not finding actors is not a valid reason to skip representation of people from South Asia, according to Maitreyi.

The actress is the perfect casting for the role, according to the critics who have already seen parts of the show. Maitreyi’s on-screen mom Nalini, played by Poorna Jagannathan, said the actress was full of confidence and fun. Poorna said Maitreyi used to dab after each takes, explaining how much fun she was having playing a character she could relate to.

Never Have I Ever is Not Maitreyi Ramakrishnan’s First Foray into Acting

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan started acting in her high school's stage plays.Maitreyi Ramakrishnan started acting in her high school’s stage plays.
Source: Maitreyi Ramakrishnan Instagram

Though Never Have I Ever is Maitreyi Ramakrishnan’s first on-camera performance, the actress is not unfamiliar with what goes into portraying different characters. From a young age, Maitreyi was involved in dancing and performing, later during her school days, the actress was pushed by her theatre teacher to appear in school plays.

She was pushed into her first role, and soon as she took the stage, Maitreyi knew this was something she wanted to pursue. In 12th grade, the actress was asked to write and direct her own play, which she did. Her play was named 0006, and it was about how women are pit against each other, it was a thriller. Side note: Maitreyi wants to be a director one day.

When she got the news about being selected as the lead of the new Netflix series, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan was getting ready to appear in her school’s production of Chicago. Never Have I Ever is the actress’s first experience of Hollywood, which she explained was eye-opening, but no can say Maitreyi lacked the experience to play the character.

Social Media Presence of Maitreyi Ramakrishnan – Is the Actress in a Relationship?

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan is active on Instagram and she is currently single.Maitreyi Ramakrishnan is active on Instagram and she is currently single.
Source: Maitreyi Ramakrishnan Instagram

The actress opened her Instagram account in 2016, but there seems to be extremely low activity on her page. There is a grand total of 45 posts on her Instagram page, but ever since she got the role of Devi, her follower count has rapidly increased. She only recently crossed 25,000 Instagram followers, and the image sharing side has already verified her account.

In Never Have I Ever, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan’s character is head over heels in love with Paxton, played by Darren Barnet. Her character wants to explore her sexual desires and not be the nerd virgin of her school. The bubbly and fun-loving nature of the actress from the show is evident in her real-life, but when it comes to her relationship status or having a boyfriend, Maitreyi appears to be single at the moment.

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