Mindy Kaling is creating a new coming-of-age series for Netflix, and now the world is one step closer to seeing the new show on our screens. Kaling has found her leading star. Maitreyi Ramakrishnan has been cast in Mindy Kaling's Netflix show, and even though she's a total newcomer, it seems that she will make quite the impression on viewers around the world.
According to a press release obtained by Bustle, Ramakrishnan will portray Devi, who is described as "an overachieving high school sophomore who has a short fuse that gets her into difficult situations." Hailing from Toronto, Canada, she will make her onscreen debut in the new show, marking her first foray into the acting world.
Ramakrishnan was selected for the role during an open casting call, which drew over 15,000 responses from aspiring Desi actors after Kaling herself promoted the effort on social media. "I’m THRILLED to have the opportunity to do this," Kaling said back in April 2019 about the open casting call. "The parts are so juicy and funny, and I’m SO excited to meet you!"
The new show is co-written, co-created, and co-executive produced by Kaling and Lang Fisher, who has worked with the comedian before on her former self-titled series, The Mindy Project. The duo will also act as showrunners. Netflix gave the show a straight-to-series 10-episode order, meaning the series has skipped the pilot stage and will (hopefully) hit our screens sooner than you may have expected.
Although the project is still untitled as of press time, according to Deadline, it will be a semi-autobiographical comedy inspired by Kaling's upbringing and seems like it will provide necessary representation for Indian and South Asian women. According to the press release, the comedy is "about the complicated life of a modern-day first generation Indian American teenage girl". In Kaling's hands, the series is bound to be both utterly hilarious and relatable.
But even though the new show is loosely inspired by her upbringing, Kaling has made it clear that the show is not directly about her childhood, and aims to tell the story of how an Indian-American girl grows up in 2019. "I think people have reported that it’s about my childhood and it’s not about my childhood, it’s just about a 15-year-old Indian-American girl growing up in 2019," Kaling told Entertainment Weekly in April 2019 during an interview. "So there will be of course lots of experiences pulled from my childhood, but it is really about a girl today."
Kaling also confirmed to EW that she won't have a starring role in the upcoming series, a conscious decision that falls in line with her recent focus on writing and creating new projects. "I love acting, but I also really love not acting, and I did it for so many years straight between The Office and The Mindy Project and there was no break in between the two," she said. "Also, I think having a baby, I’ve been able to focus more on creating new material and frankly finding new talent."
WIth Ramakrishnan, it's possible that Kaling just found the next star to truly break out in the public eye, so now all that's left to do is make the show!