Entertainment

Canadian teen nabs lead role in upcoming Mindy Kaling comedy for Netflix

Netflix says Maitreyi Ramakrishnan is a newcomer to acting who will make her on-screen debut in the untitled project as Devi, described as "a modern-day first generation Indian American teenage girl."

Filming is set to start July 23 with a release date yet to be announced

Newcomer Maitreyi Ramakrishnan will be playing the main role in Mindy Kaling's upcoming coming-of-age Netflix comedy series. (Tamil Canadian/The Canadian Press, Lars Niki/Getty Images for The Academy)

A Mississauga, Ont., teenager has nabbed the lead role in Mindy Kaling's new Netflix comedy.

The streaming service says Maitreyi Ramakrishnan is a newcomer to acting who will make her on-screen debut in the untitled project as Devi, described as "a modern-day first generation Indian American teenage girl."

Netflix says Ramakrishnan was chosen out of 15,000 responses from a worldwide open casting call that began with an online post from the The Office actor and Mindy Project star.

The untitled series is co-created, co-written and executive produced by Kaling and Lang Fisher, whose writing credits include The Mindy Project and Brooklyn Nine Nine.

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

Ramakrishnan was born in Mississauga and did not have representation until she submitted a tape of herself with her friends when she saw Kaling's casting call on Twitter.

She is now repped by Sandra Gillis of Premier Artists' Management in Toronto.

What followed was a callback which led to two screen tests in Los Angeles opposite the actor set to play the role of Devi's mother.

According to Gillis, there was much anticipation in finding out whether Ramakrishnan won the role given the intense competition.  

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

The 17-year-old just graduated from Meadowvale Secondary School in Mississauga. 

Before the role and going forward

Prior to landing the role, Gillis says that Ramakrishnan had experience in theatre and music but never had any formal acting training. 

She still got the job, and can relate closely to the character of Devi 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 adds, "We are very proud of her — it's been a long journey but I'm so glad that we're able to talk and express our excitement for her now." 

Ramakrishnan will star in every episode of the 10 episode series.

Filming is set to start July 23 with a release date yet to be announced.

with files from CBC News

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