Who Plays Ben On 'Never Have I Ever'? Meet Jaren Lewison, Star Of Mindy Kaling's New Netflix Show

He used to be on 'Barney & Friends'.

Who Plays Ben On 'Never Have I Ever'? Meet Jaren Lewison, Star Of Mindy Kaling's New Netflix Show Instagram

If you're looking for something new to binge this coming weekend, we have two words for you: Mindy and Kaling. The brilliant actress and writer is the co-creator of a new Netflix series called Never Have I Ever that tells the story of Devi, the American-born teen daughter of Indian immigrants. The story captures some elements of Kaling's own life as a first-generation American.

RELATED: Who Plays Paxton On 'Never Have I Ever'? Meet Darren Barnet, Star Of Mindy Kaling's New Netflix Show


While Kaling herself doesn't appear in the series, the cast is loaded with fresh young talent. Producers did a casting call on social media for the role of Devi and that's how they found newcomer Maitreyi Ramakrishnan. And no rom-com would be complete without a couple of young, cute guys for the protagonist to crush on. In this case, her heart is torn between hot jock Paxton, played by Darren Barnet, and smart-guy Ben played by Jaren Lewison.

We won't drop spoilers on how the romance turns out but we have the details on Lewison for everyone who is Team Ben. 

Who plays Ben on Netflix's Never Have I Ever?

Read on for all the details. 


Jaren Lewinson grew up in Texas.

Jaren Lewison is originally from Texas, where he played football in high school as well as doing some theatre (according to his Instagram, he was in a stage production of Shakespeare in Love, among other roles.) But he has been acting professionally ever since a theatre group came to his after-care program and tipped his mom off that he was really into it. 



A post shared by Jaren Lewison (@jarenlewison) on Sep 18, 2018 at 7:06pm PDT

Lewison in a high school play. 


His earliest roles were on Barney & Friends.

Lewison was only five when he started acting professionally. His theatre teachers actually hooked him up with the representation that got him his first gig.  "They gave my name to a local Dallas film and TV agent," Lewison told reporters. "And I wound up being on Barney as a kid and kept going from there." He played Josh on the children's show for several years, as well as being in a couple of the Barney movies. 

He graduated from high school last year. 

While Lewison has been acting professionally ever since his Barney years, appearing projects like Tag and the TV movie Away and Back, he was also a student at his high school in Texas. He graduated in 2019 and headed to the University of Southern California for college. His social media posts about school now show him enjoying football games and hanging out with friends, even with his shooting schedule for Never Have I Ever


RELATED: Who Plays Kamala On 'Never Have I Ever'? Meet Richa Moorjani, Star Of Mindy Kaling's New Netflix Show

The cast is really friendly with one another. 

Lewison was a newcomer to L.A. himself when he got the part and wanted to make friends with his castmates right off the bat. He used social media to reach out before filming started just to break the ice. "I did end up messaging [Maitreyi] on Instagram when I received the news that I was cast and saw her name, because her and I had just finished graduating high school," he recalled. "I was like, “Hey, I’m Jaren. I wanted to say what’s up and try and create a friendship because it’s scary, being around the same age and being new to LA.” Everybody met at the first table read, though I totally stalked everyone on Instagram."

Once production began, the teens in the cast spent time doing fun stuff when they weren't working, such as going bowling and to theme parks. "On the last day of shooting, we, the kids, went to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios, and we dressed up as the Scooby Doo gang," Lewison says. "We ended up wandering around the backlot, which we probably weren’t supposed to do, but it was a very sentimental moment."



A post shared by Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) on Apr 20, 2020 at 11:54am PDT

The cast of Never Have I Ever with Mindy Kaling.

He sees himself in his character.


In the show, Ben is an academic powerhouse. He and Devi start out as rivals in class but become friends — and maybe more — as the series goes on. And Ben has a vulnerable side that he hides through some pretty abrasive behavior. Lewison can definitely relate to parts of the character he plays. "I can relate to his vulnerable side. I’m very protective and loyal and into always being there for my friends, and you see that towards the end of the season with Ben. In terms of Ben’s academic pursuit of excellence, I also love school," Lewison told reporters. "In terms of Ben’s rudeness, I would like to say I was not that guy in high school. He can definitely come off as crude and rude before you understand why he acts the way he does."

Is there going to be a second season of the show?

The series has only just started streaming this week so Netflix hasn't given any signals about picking it up for a second season. The reviews for the new show are great so far, however, and if fans love the characters, there's a strong chance Lewison and his castmates could be back for more. 

RELATED: Who Plays Devi On 'Never Have I Ever?' Meet Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Star Of Mindy Kaling's New Netflix Show


Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. She is the creator of the blog FeminXer and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.