This Canadian teen just got cast in Mindy Kaling’s new show

Story by CBC Kids News • Published 2019-07-12 13:23

Mississauga, Ont., teen beat 15,000 girls worldwide to land starring role

It’s not everyday an unknown kid actor can say they landed the lead role in a Mindy Kaling Netflix comedy series.

But for Maitreyi Ramakrishnan from Mississauga, Ont., that’s exactly what happened.

Tweet from Mindy Kaling saying, Remember that open casting call for me and Loulie Lang's upcoming Netflix series!? Well everyone, meet Maitreyi Ramakrishnan! She was cast out of 15,000 people. Thank you to every single one of you that auditioned.

The 17-year-old Canadian who has no real acting experience was chosen out of 15,000 kids in a worldwide open casting call.

This will be Ramakrishnan’s on-screen debut.

“Well, I’m one happy Tamil-Canadian girl right now!” she said on Twitter.

Tweet from Maitreyi Ramakrishnan saying, Well I'm one happy Tamil Canadian girl right now! Thank you to Mindy Kaling Loulie Lang for the open cast call and everyone who has seen my prom pic! Get ready for an amazing new Netflix hit! Started from the bottom now we're here hashtag brown girl come up.

It all began when Kaling posted about her search online in April.

Tweet from Mindy Kaling saying, Attention Desi ladies! I'm holding open casting calls for leads in my new Netflix show! I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to do this. The parts are so juicy and funny and I'm so excited to meet you! Full info is here! Good Luck. The open casting post reads, Casting Search, Seeking role of 15 to 18 years old South Asian American female, Role of South Asian female mid 40's with Indian accent, role of South Asian female mid 20's with Indian accent. Shoots in Los Angeles beginning late July. To audition please send email to

Maitreyi didn’t even have an agent or a manager when she submitted a tape of herself with her friends after seeing Kaling’s tweet.

This led to a callback, followed by two screen tests in Los Angeles

Maitreyi will play Devi in the yet-to-be-titled show that was co-created and executive produced by Kaling and Lang Fisher, the team behind The Mindy Project and Brooklyn Nine Nine.

Mindy Kaling is co-creator, co-writer and executive producer of the new comedy series. (Lars Niki/Getty Images)

Now represented by Sandra Gillis of Premier Artists' Management in Toronto, Maitreyi had to go through some stiff competition to land the role.

Tweet from Mindy Kaling saying, We love that this extremely special and hilarious young woman gets to help us tell that story. Can't wait to see the full cast come to life!

"They really liked her — and we waited — and then we found out a while ago, but couldn't mention that she actually landed the role,” Gillis said.

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan is a Tamil-Canadian who is very proud of her heritage. (IMDB)

Netflix describes Devi as an overachieving high school sophomore who has a short fuse that gets her into difficult situations.

The streaming service describes her character as "a modern-day first generation Indian American teenage girl."

Tweet from Mindy Kaling saying, We feel so much excitement to be bringing this story to life and a responsibility too. Depicting what it's like to be a young desi woman right now, a real girl with real desires, ambitions & problems. Not just Indian American culture presented to us as side characters on a show.

Maitreyi can relate given her attachment to her own culture.

"She's very proud of her heritage and she wants everyone to know that she is Tamil-Canadian and that it is a very important aspect of her identity,” Gillis said.

Meadowvale Secondary School in Mississauga, where Maitreyi just graduated, is incredibly proud of its former student.

Tweet from Peel District School Board saying, Look out for Maitreyi Ramakrishnan on your screens because this Meadowvale student just landed the lead role in Mindy Kaling's new Netflix series, an untitled coming of age comedy! We're rooting for you Maitreyi!

The Netflix series starts filming July 23 with a release date yet to be announced.

With files from The Canadian Press

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