/Darren Barnet Is Part Japanese IRL, So Mindy Made Paxton Hall-Yoshida Part Japanese

Darren Barnet Is Part Japanese IRL, So Mindy Made Paxton Hall-Yoshida Part Japanese

In case you’re unaware, Never Have I Ever is the latest teen show that everyone’s talking about. This series — born from the mind of Mindy Kaling — is about a high school student named Devi who’s coping with the recent death of her father and her feelings for high school hottie, Paxton Hall-Yoshida (Darren Barnet) and academic arch-nemesis, Ben Gross (Jaren Lewison).

So, to celebrate the success of the series, we had two-thirds of the love triangle — Darren Barnet and Jaren Lewison — conference in to read your #TeamPaxton and #TeamBen thirst tweets. Please enjoy this 11-minute video of Darren and Jaren complementing one another:

View this video on YouTube


While reading some of the internets best tweets, Darren also gave us a little backstory into Paxton H-Y’s character — namely, his background.

Twitter: @mystanmind

The dig was three-fold: Paxton’s name is dope, racially inclusive, and doesn’t contain the word “gross.”

Originally, Paxton wasn’t going to be part Japanese, but when one of the creators overheard Darren speaking Japanese to someone in the wardrobe department, they added Yoshida to his name and made it a part of his character.

I knew not many people knew I was part Japanese, like, I’m “ambiguous,” but no one knew…and [one of the writers] asked if I was part Japanese and I said, “Yeah, I am,” and then immediately she asked if I minded if they made my character part Japanese…I didn’t know they were going to run with it until I got to the next table read and there was a “-Yoshida” next to my name.

“There’s many people like me — who you can’t tell what they are,” Darren concluded. “And they’re very proud of their heritage. But, when they say it, people either don’t believe it or they question it, so it was cool, because it’s a pocket that I am now representing.”

I didn’t know it was possible, but this story made me love Paxton Hall-Yoshida EVEN MORE!


But, don’t fret, Ben Gross. There’s still room in my heart for you.

Be sure to check out Darren and Jaren in Never Have I Ever, now streaming on Netflix.

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