Source: courtesy of netflix

'Never Have I Ever' Wasn't Richa Moorjani's First Project With Mindy Kaling



If you're looking for a light-hearted, feel-good binge watch on Netflix, may we recommend the very sweet Never Have I Ever, a coming-of-age comedy by Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher?

The 10-episode series follows a 15-year-old Indian-American girl named Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), whose cousin Kamala (Richa Moorjani) moves in after Devi's father dies of a sudden heart attack during her harp concert, traumatizing her to the point that she temporarily (well, for three months) loses the ability to use her legs.

Source: courtesy of netflix

Kamala moves to the States from India in order to attend college. She's engaged to a man she's never met, but falls in love with one of her college classmates. 

Keep reading to learn more about Kamala, and about the actress who plays her.

Kamala is Devi's perfect cousin — or so Devi thinks.

When we meet Kamala, she's the "perfect" cousin who Devi's mother fawns over and in whose footsteps she'd like her own daughter to follow.

Kamala is trying to suppress the complicated emotions she feels with regard to her arranged marriage, especially now that's she has found she has feelings for her university classmate.

Source: courtesy of netflix

Discovering Kamala's secret allows Devi to be more sympathetic toward her cousin, and to finally see her as cool rather than perfect.

For actress Richa Moorjani, who plays Kamala, it was important that the subject of arranged marriage wasn't approached with the usual conventions of American TV. 

"A lot of South Asians in this country get nervous when there's an arranged marriage storyline on an American show because it tends to be stereotypical," she revealed in an interview with StyleCaster.

Source: Instagram

Richa with her husband, Bharat.

"What I love about this show is that you see a different side to it," she continued. "Historically speaking, what we've seen is this really oppressive, horrible patriarchal system. That's not always the case. I know a lot of people where their parents have helped them find somebody, and a lot of the time, it ends up working out really well."

Where else have you seen Richa Moorjani before?

Richa, who you might recognize from minor roles in NCIS: Los Angeles and 9-1-1, and who worked with Mindy Kaling back in a 2012 episode of The Mindy Project, had to work with a dialect coach to perfect her Indian accent.

But she didn't feel disconnected from her culture the way that protagonist Devi does on the series.

Source: Instagram

"We went to India a lot of times growing up and I spent a few years living there by myself in Mumbai to pursue acting," she continued to the outlet. "The Indian experience is very in me, so even though I grew up here and my experience is different if I would've grown up there, Kamala's experience is still relatable to me."

Richa hopes that a potential second season of Never Have I Ever could delve in to her character's backstory.  

Source: courtesy of netflix

"I think that would help the audience see why she is the way she is," she offered. "She's always struggling between what she wants and trying to make everyone around her happy and to meet everyone's expectations. I hope she's able to break out of that fear of disappointing people and do what she wants."

Never Have I Ever is now streaming on Netflix.

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