A single social media post completely changed Maitreyi Ramakrishnan's life in 2019. The 21-year-old actress originally had dreams of going to art school and becoming a professional animator á la Disney's Pixar, but when comedian and multihyphenate Mindy Kaling put out an open casting call in search of a young Desi woman on Instagram and Twitter, her life did a full 180.
Since then, Maitreyi auditioned for — and landed — the lead role of teen Devi Vishwakumar on Netflix's Never Have I Ever. The YA rom-com premiered to critical acclaim in 2020 and quickly gained a dedicated following that fell in love with Maitreyi's charm and quick wit on camera. The beloved series has officially ended with its fourth and final season, and we caught up with the star to see what she might have in store for the future, as well as all her favorite items that make her, her.
From her fave pair of sweatpants to Anime-inspired Spotify playlists and a handful of meaningful rings, Maitreyi sat down with Seventeen to dish about all the things (and people!) she can't live without. Ahead, find all of the must-haves in Maitreyi Ramakrishnan's Seventeen Starter Pack.
Tattoo Aftercare Cream
Over the years, Maitreyi has gotten inked three times, which means she knows that tattoo aftercare is a vital part of the healing process. Her favorite tattoo lotion is from Canadian brand PurTat.
"I get very paranoid that my tattoo will look less than perfect and my perfectionism kicks in," Maitreyi tells Seventeen before encouraging fans to lotion their tats for a longer lifespan.
Attack on Titan Misaka Tapestry Sweater
Maitreyi reveals that her favorite show of all time is the cult-classic anime series, Attack on Titan — she even has a tattoo inspired by it! One of the 21-year-old actress' go-to cozy 'fits consists of a tapestry sweater with one of the characters, Misaka, on the sleeve.
Vaseline Advanced Therapy Lip Balm
"I have a bad habit of picking at my lips when I'm anxious or stressed," Maitreyi admits. "So, I definitely have to carry around one of these, one of the lip balms, around in all of my bags." Her fave? The Vaseline Advanced Therapy Lip Balm (which is less than $10, BTW).
Lancôme Juicy Tube Lip Gloss
When she's feeling ✨fancy✨, Maitreyi reaches for Y2K's fave lip gloss that is still a bestseller, Lancôme's Juicy Tube.
Raise your hand if you've ever gotten your period and realized you definitely didn't bring a pad with you. 🙋 Like many of us, Maitreyi has fallen victim to this.
"I really suck at remembering to pack a pad," she says. "So, I scatter them everywhere, like lip balm and hand sanitizer, in all my bags and then I'm always ready to go. And I'm always ready to help my homies." Not all heroes wear capes, but they do carry menstruation products.
Maitreyi's go-to jewelry is actually sentimental hand-me-downs from the women in her family. She wears a gold sapphire ring from her mom and a signet ring from her late great-grandma who passed when she was 15. "I kind of grew up with her," Maitreyi says. "We had a lot of fun, and then she passed away [because of] Alzheimer's. She wore this ring, like, up until she died, and my grandma and my mom gave this to me."
Her dog, Melody
Maitreyi's dog, Melody, has many nicknames and the actress considers her "her bestest friend."
"If my house was going to burn down tomorrow and I had to take one item out of it, it would be my dog, easily," Maitreyi dishes.
"I take a lot of pride in my Spotify playlists because they're all very, like, nicely organized," Maitreyi says. She labels each playlist with different emojis and personalizes them with different images from her favorite animes to match her moods. Maitreyi tells Seventeen she has a playlist for when she's angry, for when she needs to slay a photo shoot, and for when she feels she needs to cut people off.
If you want to listen to her playlists, check out Maitreyi on Spotify.
Her bestie, Shahara
Maitreyi met her BFF, Shahara, when they were in high school, and she reveals that they were the person who sent Mindy Kaling's casting call to her in 2019. "It kind of makes sense that [Shahara] is an essential in my life," Maitreyi says as she shows off a pic of them. "Back then when I was just a dumb teen, I didn't know that I truly met my soulmate." These two!
Maitreyi loves to be cozy, and she takes pride in supporting her hometown by wearing Canadian brand, Roots. "It's a Canadian staple, right up there with Tim Hortons, which is a coffee place," Maitreyi says.
Who doesn't love a good video game? Maitreyi says she takes her Nintendo Switch with her wherever she goes. "Growing up with Nintendo very much makes me who I am," she says. Maitreyi cites Tears for the Kingdom as her current favorite game and Super Smash Bros as her all-time favorite. As for her go-to Smash character, she chooses Kirby — the beloved round, pink character who she also has tattooed on her thigh.
Sam is an assistant editor at Seventeen, covering pop culture, celebrity news, health, and beauty. When she isn't draping her cheeks in blush, you can probably find her live-tweeting awards shows or making SwiftToks.