Jaren Lewison

Jaren Lewison

Jaren Lewison

Never Have I Ever's Jaren Lewison Profile Interview

As a long-time lover of chaotic teen content™, Never Have I Ever was a show right up my personal alley. However, this series is so much more than teen hijinks — it's a nuanced coming-of-age rom-com-dram that folds in ethnic, sexual, and religious identities ALL WHILE BEING FUNNY AS HELL! So, it was an honor and a privilege to hop on a Zoom call with Jaren Lewison — who plays Ben Gross (aka my favorite character) — to discuss memories from the set of NHIE, his love of Robin Williams and Adam Sander, and a little someone called "Pickle Rick." Here's everything we learned

How Did It Feel Being on Both Ends of the Devi Love Triangle?

I feel like I've got to root for myself a little bit because I play Ben, so I'm a little biased, but I love some of those Paxton scenes. I think that Darren and Maitreyi [Ramakrishnan] have such great chemistry. Like, they have some romantic scenes and I'm so jealous every time. I think that Darren does such an incredible job at playing this heartthrob; I want to be like him, you know, how he comes through soaking wet from the rain. He's got these car scenes — my man is romantic and I also love Darren, so I've got to root for Paxton a little bit. For my personal sake, I've got to be team Ben, but still definitely rooting for Paxton occasionally. (Source: www.seventeen.com)

On Devi’s Pros and Cons Board, All of Paxton’s Pros Seem to Relate to His Appearance Despite the Connection They’ve Made. He Also Takes a Bit to Warm up to the Idea of a Committed Relationship. Was There Ever a Point Where You Wanted Paxton’s Story to Be Different?

DB: Honestly, I think [the writers] really hit the mark with it. It was really cool how they — especially with it being such a fluke — like [making Paxton] part Japanese just as I am in real life. It was all a fluke, how that happened. That was accidental. Mindy [Kaling] heard me speaking in Japanese, or heard about it, and was like, "Can we make your character part Japanese?" It's really cool that they dove into that and I'm really proud to show it, so it's been amazing.

Throughout the Show, We See Both Ben and Paxton Let Their Guards Down. How Does It Feel to Portray Young Men Who Break the Mold When It Comes to Strength, Masculinity, and Emotional Vulnerability?

DB: It's been so much fun because I knew getting into this, Mindy and the team were like, "Look, this guy is definitely the heartthrob, but we want to see layers to him. You've got to be subtle about how you pull them back — it's not about showing all the cards at first." I feel like so many men are so scared to show any cards half the time. It's really cool for a character like Paxton, that's supposed to be this macho sports-oriented man's-man, to have a real heart to a man. To show that he struggles with the same thing that a lot of young teenage guys do was really, really cool to peel back and show. (Source: www.seventeen.com)





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