The 21-year-old actress prepares to say goodbye to Devi Vishwakumar in the new season of Mindy Kaling‘s coming-of-age comedy, which finds the titular heroine entering her senior year of high school. But before she and her friends say sayonara to Sherman Oaks High, they have a few loose ends to tie up, including the aftermath of Devi and Ben’s “one free boink.”
While season 4 is mere days away from premiering on Netflix, Ramakrishnan and her castmates wrapped filming nearly a year ago in August 2022. For the Canadian actress, who made her screen debut with “Never Have I Ever”, she’s “over the bittersweet” emotions about closing this chapter in her life. “[It’s] just nothing but sweet,” Ramakrishnan exclusively told ET’s Denny Directo on the red carpet at the Los Angeles premiere.
Ramakrishnan famously landed the role following an open casting call and she credited her family, who also attended the premiere, for being her “support system.”
“They’re the reason why I can do the job that I do and do as well as I do,” she praised. “So it’s amazing to have them [here]. They’re not people that like to be in the limelight. We’re not like a celebrity family. We’re not that, but I really appreciate all the things that they sacrifice, even including taking that photo with me,” referring to their sweet family snapshot on the red carpet. “That’s a great gift on their behalf.”
Amid the ongoing writers’ strike, co-creator/executive producers Kaling and Lang Fisher were not present to celebrate with Ramakrishnan and the “Never Have I Ever” family (any writers who attend promotional events or take part in interviews for existing projects are considered crossing the picket line). Kaling posted to Instagram ahead of the premiere to share a few nice words.
“I love you, my ‘Never Have I Ever’ cast and crew. Send me tons of texts and pics from the premiere. And to the fans around the world — enjoy the new season. We could only make this show because of you!” Kaling wrote. “Lang and I are so grateful to everyone who watched the show! ‘Never Have I Ever’… loved a creative experience more than this.”
Ramakrishnan reacted to Kaling’s emotional message, saying her words affirmed “all things that I already knew because she’s so just proud of all of us as a cast, but of the crew of the show and so thankful for the fans. I do miss her, I will say.”
The Netflix leading lady revealed she took “a lot of stuff” from set once filming was over. “I.. took the whole harp, so go big or go home,” Ramakrishnan shared, referring to her character’s high school instrument that she plays.
Meanwhile, her co-stars Darren Barnet, who plays Paxton Hall-Yoshida, and Jaren Lewison, who portrays Ben Gross, also reflected on saying farewell to their characters — who have been involved in a never-ending love saga with Devi — after four seasons.
“The creation is over but the memories will last forever. And also they’re gonna be in our lives forever,” Lewison said of Kaling, Fisher and the writers. “They said, ‘We’re not gonna be strangers. We are going to be involved in each other’s lives. They’re always there for advice and they mean that. They really do. And we take them up on it. And it says a lot about them and who they are.”
Barnet admitted to feeling overwhelmed at the premiere. “I’m trying to just relish in the moment and taking in as [much] as I can. And I’m lucky to be here,” he said of the glitzy evening. “It’s kind of natural, you know, moving on.”
The actor acknowledged to feeling a whirlwind of emotions on the last day of set and letting a few tears out, even though he proclaims he’s “not really a crier.” “It just got me,” Barnet recalled. “We were like, ‘Wow, we’ve come a long way from season 1.’ And it was just one of those moments.”
As for what they stole, Lewison disclosed that he took a copy of the series finale script.
“Everyone, pre-production, post-production and production all signed it [and] left notes,” he said. “I couldn’t even open it [until] two months afterwards because I wasn’t ready,” the actor said. “And then every time I read it, I get very emotional. I’m not much of a crier, but that one hits me for real. It’s kind of like, this is a graduation. That’s my high school yearbook.”
On the other hand, Barnet revealed he took “a lot of socks” — two years’ worth, in fact.
As for what awaits “Never Have I Ever” fans in the final chapter, “the same roller-coaster, but new twists and turns and some extra passengers,” Barnet teased.
The final season of “Never Have I Ever” drops Thursday, June 8 on Netflix.
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