In our Sleeping With… series, we speak to people from different career paths, backgrounds, and stages of life to find out how they make sleep magic happen.
Maitreyi Ramakrishnan is 1 in 15,000—at least when it came to landing her first acting gig. When Mindy Kaling put out an open casting call for the lead in her new teen drama, Never Have I Ever, 15,000 people auditioned. Ramakrishnan—then 17, from Mississauga, Canada, with no previous acting credits to her name—came out on top, scoring the role of Devi Vishwakumar.
Never Have I Ever was released on Netflix on April 27, just over a month into the worldwide pandemic shutdown. The series was a hit—Netflix recently reported that it was viewed by more than 40 million households globally within four weeks. In July it was officially renewed for a second season.
But don’t be fooled by Ramakrishnan’s wave of success. She, now 18, wants you to know that she’s just your average teenager. “Ever since March, I’ve been quarantining with my family in my home,” Ramakrishnan tells SELF. “I got my mom, I got my dad, my grandma, my grandpa, my brother, my dog. It’s a full house. My entire life, I’ve grown up in Mississauga, and going for the audition [for Never Have I Ever] was actually the first trip I’ve ever taken down there [to L.A.]. That was the longest time I’ve ever been away from home.”
SELF spoke to Ramakrishnan, who recently partnered with Tazo tea, about her bedtime routine while quarantining at home with her family. Read below for the skin-care she learned from her mother, late nights with Grandma, and how high school taught her the value of an all-nighter.
All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.Before bed, I don’t really like to hang out in my bedroom so much by myself because I don’t like to be alone.
I tend to actually hang out downstairs with my family. I’d rather be on my computer downstairs than just up in my room alone, if that makes sense. My whole bedroom vibe is basically a storage space of all of my stuff in an organized yet slightly chaotic mess.Honestly, my whole family, including my grandma, stays up pretty late.
Sometimes [my grandma] will stay up until 1:00. I think I slowly converted my family into night owls with me. Except for my dad—my dad’s a morning person, so we all gang up on him. That’s a “him problem.” Recently we started playing Mario Party before we go to bed. I get very competitive, so it’s a good way to get out all of the last energy you have. I win, of course. Let’s be real. My grandma just watches, but she supports.
At night I also like to have a cup of tea—I really like the Tazo Energize blend. I’m a night owl and tend to get a lot of my best and most creative work done after midnight, so that helps me with that process. I also am a huge fan of their Earl Grey tea.If it’s a normal night, then I probably don’t have makeup on because I try not to use too much makeup day after day, because I don’t want to break out.
But let’s say I am, just to spice it up. I go in with a bunch of toners and makeup removers, because I absolutely hate myself if I fall asleep with my makeup on, which admittedly has happened before. I think I have done that more in quarantine than I have in my entire life. I am quite ashamed about that, but it is what it is. I am human.