Darren Barnet (Paxton Hall) from the new Mindy Kaling Netflix show Never Have I Ever, out April 27, is giving fans a behind-the-scenes look at his routine now that he’s practicing social distancing. From working out to making music, Darren is doing his best to stay busy and creative during quarantine. Make sure to check it out above!
CAUTION: Do not feed the actors. Just kidding. Please feed us. All the time. Huge thank you to craft service and everyone working behind the scenes. Couldn’t have done it without ya.
I’ve added 1 high quality photo to the gallery, make sure to check it out!
Darren Barnet’s first day on the set of Never Have I Ever as Paxton Hall-Yoshida started off with a splash. Well, sort of. They were filming the scene that introduces him in the new Netflix series as the hottest guy at Sherman Oaks High School, where he climbs out of the gym pool wearing Nike jammers and shakes his wet hair, water dripping off his abs and Robyn’s “Dancing on My Own” blasting in the background.
“[Director] Tristram [Shapeero] was like, all right, ‘Let’s get your hair a little bit wet, rub your hands through your hair, really flex your chest when you get out of the pool, really milk the moment.’ It was kind of hysterical,” Darren tells Teen Vogue. “The set was a very creative space. I have zero complaints, the cast got along so well, every director that we worked with was absolutely incredible. Mindy [Kaling] was so great, open to input from the cast, always telling us if it doesn’t feel right, let me know, we’ll try something else.”
It’s quite the debut, solidifying Paxton as the target of protagonist Devi Vishwakumar‘s thirst. Then it goes from simple thirst to the real shebang when Devi approaches Paxton at the end of the first episode, asking if he’d ever consider having sex with her. The jock obliges, however, Devi’s plan doesn’t go as planned. We end up getting to know Paxton a bit more – beyond peeling off his shirt, Never Have I Ever also peels away his aloof exterior. The actor connected to Paxton in that regard, unable to count the number of times people who thought he was unapproachable before getting to know him during high school.
When Darren Barnet first auditioned for his role on Netflix’s YA series “Never Have I Ever,” the name of his character was just “Paxton Hall.”
But when creators Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher found out that he had Japanese heritage, they asked the actor if he’d be interested in incorporating that into his character. And so, Paxton Hall-Yoshida was born — the good-looking jock with a heart of gold who becomes the object of protagonist Devi Vishwakumar’s (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) affection in the first season of the coming-of-age comedy.
When wardrobe designer Salvador Pérez Jr. heard Barnet speaking Japanese to assistant director Yuko Ogata, Fisher approached him to see if he’d be down to incorporating his heritage into the character. “I was like ‘Let’s do it!’” Barnet told TheWrap in a video-chat interview. “And the next thing I knew, I had a hyphenated Yoshida at the end.”
The actor, who’s had roles on shows like “SWAT” and “Criminal Minds,” said this is the first time he’s explored his heritage on screen.
The first season of Netflix’s latest coming-of-age series “Never Have I Ever,” created by Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher, leaves off on a cliffhanger regarding the fate of the love triangle between leading lady Devi Vishwakumar (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), her handsome and popular friend Paxton Hall-Yoshida (Darren Barnet), and the boy who was once her sworn academic enemy, Ben Gross (Jaren Lewison).
In the final scene, Devi kisses Ben after he hijacks his dad’s Porsche to get her to the beach in time to spread her father’s ashes. But at that very moment, her longtime crush, Paxton, finally realizes that he was an idiot for blowing her off and resolves to finally ask her to be his girlfriend.
We asked Barnet to weigh in on who Devi should choose: Paxton or Ben.
“Oh man, there are so many great arguments for both,” he said. “Paxton, I think, really does show is true colors in terms of how he cares about Devi, and he does save her from parties twice, and he rushes her to the hospital.”
Entertainment Tonight chatted with ‘Never Have I Ever’ star Darren Barnet about his new found fame and his hopes for Season 2. ‘Never Have I Ever’ is now streaming on Netflix. Make sure to check the interview above!
Darren Barnet knows he’s the designated hottie as Paxton Hall-Yoshida on “Never Have I Ever” — and he’s fine with that.
On the Netflix hit — which follows a first-generation Indian-American teenage girl and was inspired by co-creator Mindy Kaling’s own childhood — Barnet plays a popular swimmer the lead pines over and eventually befriends, albeit with a lot of complications along the way.
“I took the role knowing that they wanted Paxton to be more than that, so I don’t mind that that’s what catches the eye about him,” he told Page Six. “Shamelessly, he’s kind of a thirst trap, but I love that they humanize him and they let me humanize him and you see that there is a lot more to him than that. I just love that they gave me room to play and dig deeper than his abs.”
Barnet said his Instagram following has shot up from around 34,000 to over 600,000 in the short time the show has been out. Not surprisingly, there have been quite a few DMs and some of them are … kinda creepy.
“Every time I refresh them there’s probably like a 100 or 200 more,” he told us. “The ones that are sweet and just admiring the show I try to reply to and tell them thank you from the bottom of my heart. The ones that are asking me to take my shirt off, I usually don’t open. But yeah it’s been a lot.”
And the creepiest?
“I think one of them sending me pictures of my sisters and being like, ‘I wish I was your sister,’” remembered Barnet.
The Los Angeles native is quite a bit older than his 17-year-old character — he’s actually 29 — something he’s initially reticent to discuss, explaining that he wants “a very long career.”
“I’ve looked younger my whole life and it used to really upset me as a kid because I thought it made me less manly but now it’s really started to be a blessing.”
As for a possible Season 2, no news has been announced from Netflix yet but Barnet is hopeful that it will happen.
Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher’s Never Have I Ever is the show that many have been waiting for. Following Devi [Maitreyi Ramakrishnan], a young Indian-American teen who is dealing with the loss of her father and the complications that comes with dealing with grief, Never Have I Ever feels like a breath of fresh air. From the get-go, her crush on Paxton Hall-Yoshida, played by breakout star Darren Barnet, follows the typical “nerd falls for jock” trope seen in YA many times before. But as the show continues and viewers learn more about Devi and Paxton, it turns into something that is a lot more complex. It seems like time is never on their side, especially after Devi starts to look at her former nemesis and new love interest, Ben [Jaren Lewison], differently.
Thanks to their always one-sided relationship, the question of “will they or won’t they?” remains on viewers minds long after the season one finale. Suddenly they realize these characters are more than the archetypes that they typically fall under, breaking apart some of the most basic rules in the YA genre, while also bringing fans a brand new hit like no other.
Seventeen exclusively talked with Never Have I Ever star Darren Barnet about bringing Paxton to life, why the show is unlike anything he’s ever seen before, whether he’s team Ben or Paxton, and why everything will be different for him in season two.