"That's what people said to me and that really, really sucks."
Never Have I Ever breakout star Maitreyi Ramakrishnan first found stardom through her portrayal of a quirky, young Indian American girl Devi Vishwakumar as she navigates high school in the popular Netflix series. But her own high school experience had its fair share of bumps along the way as well.
Ramakrishnan spoke with Narcity about her time at Meadowvale Secondary in Mississauga and how she relates to her character Devi ahead of the show's season two premiere on July 15.
During the season, Devi is thrown into a love triangle with characters Paxton and Ben, where her hot temper lands her into hilarious and tragically sticky situations. Devi is constantly called "crazy" throughout the season, causing her to break down to her therapist in episode nine — which is something Ramakrishnan says she could really relate to.
Out of everything Devi does in Season 2, what did you relate to the most personally?
"Of all the things Devi does in season two, being honest, it's kind of a sad boy answer, but when Devi goes through her whole, 'Am I crazy?' [situation]. Having all of these people tell her she's crazy, I really related to that," Ramakrishnan says. "I remember reading that whole plot, and that was all on purpose, everyone saying 'crazy Devi' with Trent or Aneesa saying crazy, like all of that. I really related to that, and it really broke my heart when I read it because I was like, 'Damn girl you don't deserve this, you're not crazy.' That's definitely something I related to."
What made you relate to that so much?
"When I was in high school in my last year, I always felt like I was messing things up for people and that I was this terrible person. My word was monster. 'You're just a monster, you're too much, you're just a monster Maitreyi.' That's what people said to me, and that really, really sucked," Ramakrishnan says. "Every time people would get upset with me, I was like, okay, I've got to just back down, and sometimes that meant putting aside my morals and just being like, 'OK I don't want to hurt people. I really don't want to hurt people. Am I just this unlikeable person? Am I just incapable of having friends?' Couldn't be the furthest from the truth, when I realized the real friends were right there, and they're still there for me now."
What does Devi learn about friendship?
"Devi learns the important lessons that platonic relationships are equally if not more important than romantic relationships, and I say this because that's something I learned in high school too. I still believe it now," Ramakrishnan says. "I always joke and say love is dead 2021, never going to find someone, don't care. But I never say I'm going to die alone because that's not true at all. My family loves me. My friends, my best friends, they got my back, and sure I might not have a romantic partner, but I will always have them."
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