Like her character Devi in Netflix’s Never Have I Ever, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan can be a hothead. “I think a lot of us have that side; it’s just so rare to actually see it properly portrayed on TV by a young woman,” the 19-year-old says over Zoom from her home in Mississauga, Canada. The second season of the Mindy Kaling–created heartwarming comedy series (streaming now) takes up right where we left off in season one, with Devi in a full-on parked-car makeout session, and her mother only three cars down. “I applaud Devi’s confidence,” Ramakrishnan says. “Though sometimes I think she’s a little too confident.” Makeout sessions aside, Ramakrishnan says she connects with Devi’s perfectionist drive, and that the two share a sarcastic nature. “We both say funny stuff, even when we maybe shouldn’t. But bottom line, she’s just trying to be a good kid, even when she messes up.”
While filming during the pandemic, Ramakrishnan spent time with her costars off set “literally all the time.” They’d have sleepovers, order food, and play a lot of Nintendo games, including Just Dance. “We were actually awful, but we put our heart and soul into it,” she says.
Speaking of Nintendo, it turns out Ramakrishnan is a total pro—she’s been a devout Super Smash Bros. player since she was just six years old. Read on as Maitreyi Ramakrishnan tells us about her favorites, including the lengths she’ll go to for the perfect eyeliner and why you never want to steal her food, in this installment in Glamour’s Your Fave’s Faves.
The last thing I bought
I just ordered Panera’s broccoli mac ’n’ cheese from Uber Eats. I couldn’t decide if I wanted the broccoli-cheddar soup or the mac ’n’ cheese, but then I scrolled down and was like, “There’s a mixed option!”
My favorite way to spend a day off
Honestly, the most realistic way I spend a day off is by sleeping. I can sleep until 5 p.m. The other day I actually slept for 20 hours. That’s not an exaggeration—my brother and I did the math.
My shopping M.O.
My approach to shopping is definitely needs over wants. That’s how I’ve always been raised. Growing up, my mom and dad would always be like, “Do you need that, or do you want that?” That’s what I always ask myself whenever I shop now.
The reality show that hooked me
The Circle is my guilty pleasure. I’m not even a big reality TV person, but I remember thinking, “What is this show?” And I instantly got attached to it.
The sweatpants I live in
It’s probably just the Canadian in me talking, but I love my gray Roots sweats.
The snacks I never get sick of
Ice cream is the most elite of the snacks. Hard-scoop is better than soft-serve, because there’s more variety. I mean there’s cotton candy, chocolate chip cookie dough“it goes on and on. Ben and Jerry’s is obviously a go-to because you can say, “This is my pint. You can get your own pint.” I really like that concept. Chapman’s is a good old Canadian brand of ice cream—it comes in a box and is basically a brick of ice cream.
My favorite drinks
I love bubble tea, and I get very territorial over my mango juice. Whenever someone in my house takes some of my juice, I’m like, “You guys have your own drinks, okay? Don’t touch my mango juice.” That’s it.
The best thing in my kitchen
A fork! I don’t cook—I suck at cooking. My family calls me the vulture because I just hover over everyone’s shoulder and am like, “Hey, what are you cooking? Are you going to eat all of that?” I just sort of swoop in.
The leggings I love
The song that makes me instantly happy
My go-to hype song is “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen. It reminds me of my best friend.
The skin care I swear by
Skin care is a small way to make sure I feel good about myself, because I feel like shit as soon as I see a pimple. I use good old Derma E Vitamin C cream.
The makeup trick I’m known for
The winged eyeliner is my signature look. I can never do a subtle eyeliner—it has to be the wing. My mom taught me how to do it properly, because when I was in high school, I would get really frustrated every time I tried, so she would just do it for me. But now I like to think that I’m better than her at it.
I actually mix a bunch of different eyeliners. The staple is Nyx’s Epic Ink Liner. It’s so good and has the best pigment—it is the darkest black and is so easy to control. I also use the KVD Tattoo Liner because that has the most precise and thin line, which I use to make it really pointy at the end. My fans have been asking me to drop a tutorial. It’ll happen one day.
The coziest item in my closest
My dad decided to take my mother to Disney World for their honeymoon. My mom’s not a big fan of Disney World, but my dad absolutely freaked out when he saw Goofy. My mom bought this Lion King shirt there, and I’ve always worn it. It started as a pajama dress when I was a kid because it was really big, and now it’s an oversized comfy shirt. There are a good couple of holes in there.
My favorite movie directed by a woman
Promising Young Woman. I thought it was so well directed, and shot—the cinematography, the music, the details, the colors…I just loved everything about that movie. I don’t do this often, but I remember actively searching up on the behind-the-scenes crew, wanting to know how that movie came to fruition.
How I spoil my pet
I have a labradoodle named Melody, and many people say she gives off the same energy that I do. She doesn’t wear any clothes and is a very passionate nudist. She won’t even wear a pretty collar; it’s sad. But she gets a lot of toys from my mom and brother. Melody and I just like to run around, chase after each other, and push each other around.
The product I never leave home without
I love the Nintendo Switch—they’re great for everyone. Little kids can play, adults can play, and there’s so much you can do with it. I’ve been playing Super Smash Bros. since I was six and Mario Kart since I was seven. I rarely have downtime on set because there’s a good bit of Devi smothered around in Never Have I Ever, but in any split moments of downtime, I always have it on standby.
Caitlin Brody is the entertainment director at Condé Nast.