Maitreyi Ramakrishnan likes to say she is related to Mindy Kaling

“Never Have I Ever,” a Netflix high school series now in its third season, has its fair share of friendships — but one pair of besties only happens behind the scenes: the one between its star and its creator.

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, who plays high school student Devi in ​​’Never Have I Ever,’ and Mindy Kaling, co-creator of the Netflix series, opened up about their close relationship. The first-time actor once called Kaling his “fairy godmother” in an Instagram post.

And sometimes Ramakrishnan uses their bond to do mischief.

In an interview on “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon,” Ramakrishnan said her “favorite thing” to do is tell people that she and Kaling are “related from afar, because they feel bad about each other. ease”.

“They’re like, ‘Oh yeah, because you’re both brown, you have to relate…’” Ramakrishnan told host Jimmy Fallon with a laugh. “And then they’re like, ‘Oh yeah, that makes sense. And I’m like, ‘No, no, I completely made this up.’”

Kaling told TODAY, 2021, that “Never Have I Ever” is loosely based on her own experience as a navigating Indian-American teenager in high school. Ramakrishnan’s character, Devi Vishwakumar, navigates love triangles and the chain of popularity, while mourning the death of her father.

“I created this show with my friend, Lang Fisher, and we were both nerds in high school, but we were ambitious and wanted to have boyfriends, and I felt like we really didn’t have got to see that side of nerds, especially Asian. women,” Kaling told Hoda and Jenna. “We’re usually portrayed as wise, and I like (Vishwakumar) because she’s fiery and smart and has an anger problem.”

During the same TODAY appearance, Ramakrishnan and Kaling joked about their mother-daughter vibes and talked about working on the show together.

“She’s the most exceptional young actress I’ve ever met,” Kaling said. “She’s also my daughter and I thought it would be a good time to tell everyone.”

Ramakrishnan then joked that “there was nepotism” on the set of the series.

“I wish she was my daughter,” Kaling added.

“Never Have I Ever” marks Ramakrishnan’s first-ever acting job — and work in general. After Hoda asked if Kaling “knew Maitreyi was magical”, the 43-year-old said yes, “from the moment we met her”.

Kaling went on to describe Ramakrishnan as “an incredibly talented high school student” who decided to go for it. “We saw her and we were like, ‘She’s a star,'” Kaling said.

Being “a big fan of ‘The Office,'” Ramakrishnan told Hoda and Jenna that Kaling has been a major inspiration to her over the years.

“I’m not even trying to kiss,” the 20-year-old told Kaling. “She can do anything. No one can say that Mindy Kaling doesn’t work hard because it’s all a lie. She’s always working on something.”

Ramakrishnan went on to say that she was “so grateful” to have Kaling as her first boss. She added that a line from Kaling’s other hit show “The Office” that Steve Carrell delivers as Michael Scott describes their relationship: “Friend first, boss second.”

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