Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Darren Barnet, Jaren Lewison, showrunner Lang Fisher and more look ahead.
Spoiler alert! Do not proceed if you have not finished season 2 of Netflix's Never Have I Ever.
Never Have I Ever ended its second season on quite a cliffhanger. Even though Devi and Paxton appeared to turn over a new leaf as official girlfriend and boyfriend at the school dance, wrapping up a roller coaster of a ride for Devi, the love triangle between Devi, Paxton and Ben seems far from over. While we wait for Netflix to officially renew the series for a third season, the stars of the coming-of-age comedy shared their personal wishes for their characters if and when the pickup becomes official.
"It'll be really cool to see Devi in a proper relationship because we technically never really have. It was a two-timing situation and as Dr. Ryan and Eleanor says, that doesn't count. That's not real. She has zero boyfriends. So it is going to be cool to see her as a girlfriend -- that new relationship in her life that she's never had before," star Maitreyi Ramakrishnan told ET. "But I think Paxton realizing what Devi means to him is really nice because he realizes, 'This is the person that believes in me and doesn't think I'm stupid.' And I actually accomplished something and she was there for me. I think it's Paxton setting aside the ego and the pride, and also offering forgiveness and being like, 'This is the situation.' It's really heartwarming."
With several looming questions left unanswered at the end of the season, there's a lot to speculate over regarding Devi's future romantically and with her family.
"The biggest one is what's Devi going to be as an actual girlfriend in a real relationship with someone who's much more experienced than she is?" showrunner Lang Fisher told ET. "This has been her dream for the entire series. Day 1 she's like, 'We've got to get boyfriends.' That's all she's wanted. And now she has one and he is the most popular boy in the school. And it's like, 'What is that going to be like?' Is it going to be the dream that she had always imagined it would be or will it be more complicated? And probably it will be more complicated than that. There's still these things like to explore in terms of sex and what do you do if you're a nerd who's done very little and you're dating a much more experienced guy."
"In terms of her family, I want to keep seeing her relationship with her mom grow and evolve and change," she continued. "It'd be nice to see them kind of lean on each other a little more. We introduced her grandmother [Nirmala] this season, who is this amazing actress [Ranjita Chakravarty] and she just brought this whole other dimension and kind of filled a little bit of the void that Mohan left. I'd like to see the new dynamics of her family now."
Aside from the lack of resolution surrounding Devi's messy love life, Ramakrishnan hopes her character is able to use her voice more in a season 3.
"I would love to see Devi begin to, like, stand up for herself more. We saw a little glimpse of that when she had her little dream sequence with her dad, right? And then her dad said, 'This is not you, this isn't who you are.' When she says, 'Are you mad at me?' That's her first question out of her mind because she doesn't want people to be mad at her. She's sick and tired of people being mad at her all the time," the actress said. "And she says that to Fabiola, 'People, aren't proud of me all the time, right?' She doesn't want that. But then when she goes to Paxton and Paxton says, 'OK, I'm sorry, I can't be that for you." She's like, 'OK.' She stood her ground with her morals and we don't really see that prior to that. It'd be cool to dive into that more."
Co-stars Darren Barnet and Jaren Lewison also expressed interest in exploring Paxton and Ben's personal lives and complicated family dynamics in the future, elements of which became more apparent as season 2 progressed.
"Paxton is faced with so many new challenges and things are not going easy for them anymore. And you're going to see him have to try a lot harder. And depending on, you never know where the timeline goes with the seasons. This could be, in season 3, it could be the rest of his junior year or it could be the beginning of his senior year. And there's a lot of question in what he's really playing. He's got to bow it down and see what he's going to be doing with his life. And that's going to be really interesting to see. So, catch season 2 and we'll see in a potential season 3.
"I think it's just continually adding on layers and layers to our characters. I know that for me and for Ben, I really love when he's vulnerable, but I also still love some of that Ben Gross-iness where he's name-dropping and being loud and brash. I never want that to go away. I think that's an inherent part of who he is, but it's really nice to see how Ben navigates through new, different kinds of emotions," Lewison said. "For season 3, if we do get that chance, it would be a lot about this inner conflict between Devi, between Aneesa and that growth and maturity. I have no idea what he's thinking and feeling. And I'd be really curious to that. I know that if we do have that chance for a season 3, the writers Mindy [Kaling] and Lang and the rest of the team are going to do an unbelievable job at continuing to layer these characters that everybody loves so much just as they did for season 1 and for season 2."
For Richa Moorjani, who plays Devi's cousin, Kamala, and Poorna Jagannathan, who plays Devi's mother, Nalini, there's a lot to look forward to for their characters' respective journeys.
"I want to continue to see Kamala be the badass that she's becoming and break more beakers and run out of more dinners. I just love to see Kamala be messy. I think it's so fun, and it's so real, and it's so honest. More of that," Moorjani told ET, while Jagannathan added, "I always think the family dynamic, all of us together, is so funny and so fun, so complex and messy. The word Richa just used. I'd like to see a lot more of that in season 3."
Moorjani's Kamala had an empowering season overall, getting out of a toxic work environment and standing her ground professionally, and ending season 2 bolting out of her own "proposal" dinner with Prashant (Rushi Kota) and her family. She ended up at the school dance, where she bumped into Devi's English teacher, Mr. Kulkarni (Utkarsh Ambudkar), with whom she had fleeting encounters.
"I definitely think there's a possibility," Moorjani said of Kamala and Mr. K possibly taking their flirty banter to the next step. "Obviously he's very different from Prashant, but I think she's really just starting to get to know Prashant because they were long distance and he's finally come to L.A. to visit her and she's still young. She's in her 20s, she's a PhD student. I didn't know who I wanted to marry when I was her age. There's definitely a spark [with Mr. K], but I don't know, we'll have to see."
As for Nalini, who has a brief romance with dermatologist Dr. Chris Jackson (Common), only to break things off because of Devi and her own grief over her husband's death, Jagannathan isn't sure if Nalini is "ready" to get back into dating again.
"I really don't. There was a lot more in the original script, in the original episode that she's literally seeing things. You see a picture of Mohan and Devi and it switches from a happy photo to a sad photo, and there was a lot more stuff like that in the original script, where she's mentally just not ready," Jagannathan shared. "And it is, of course, partly Devi and the fact that she's gaslighting her daughter, but she's not there yet. She's not there."
Season 2 of Never Have I Ever is streaming now on Netflix. For more, watch below.
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