Megan Suri is Just Getting Started

Megan Suri is Just Getting Started

Megan Suri is Just Getting Started

The Never Have I Ever star talks cool-girl style, while sporting the newest Uniqlo and Marni Collaboration, friendship accountability, and how the Netflix show transcends stereotype

The Never Have I Ever star talks cool-girl style, while sporting the newest Uniqlo and Marni Collaboration, friendship accountability, and how the Netflix show transcends stereotype

Photography: Harry Eelman

Styling: Davey Sutton

Text: Meena Jannah

With the third season of Netflix’s Never Have I Ever soon falling upon us late this summer, viewers are getting another chance to watch second-season newcomer Megan Suri shake it up. LA-born-and-raised the 23-year-old actress made a huge statement by joining the Mindy Kaling mastermind, playing Aneesa, the new Muslim student at Sherman Oaks High. 

“Aneesa, who was the complete opposite of anything that we've seen in mainstream media of an Indian woman and a teenager - at that, was super dope,” says Suri. Confident, poised, and glowing, it was hard to miss Suri. She easily blended into scenes with Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Lee Rodriguez, and Ramona Young (who play Devi, Fabiola, and Eleanor respectively). 

By her admission, joining the show was a nerve-wracking moment, especially after recovering from the pandemic. Still, it’s hard to imagine that someone as keen and open to exploring would have a difficult time. While still unable to pick and choose roles (by her own admission), Suri is already showing a great deal of range. With two upcoming parts in Aneesh Chaganty’s Searching 2 and the directorial debut of award-winning filmmaker Bishal Dutta, there is no denying that the odds are in her favor. 

When hopping onto the call with Suri, there was an undeniable sense of calm and easy relatability that took over the direction of the conversation. Read below. 

Megan wears all clothing Uniqlo and Marni 2022 Spring Summer Collection throughout.

V Magazine: What drew you towards the character of Aneesa? She is way more confident than I was during high school, which I find completely enamoring.  

Megan Suri: Aneesa sort of came more to life the more that they wrote her into episodes, and I just found myself being gripped by her. But the roles that we see in media [about Indian characters] are literally like babied, right? It's the smart, annoying kid, or the academically super kid. To play a character like Aneesa who was the complete opposite of anything that we've seen in mainstream media of an Indian woman and a teenager - at that, was super dope. So, I got to play around with it. I think for our community it was a huge deal. But then, just me coming from being in this industry for over 10 years, it was dope to just be able to play an Indian kid, that doesn't take school too seriously and is really cool.

V: I really liked the fact that Never Have I Ever makes great reminders that the characters are not surface level, even within 28-minute episodes. Aneesa refuses to be defined by her peers which is a great connection to have between the audience and the character. Personally, what is the response that you have been receiving from fans? 

MS: A lot of people were very excited to see a Muslim woman being portrayed in a positive light. It's heartbreaking.

There are also a lot of people who commented: ‘You know, I too am struggling from an eating disorder’ and this was really important to see. And one thing that I didn't even necessarily know is that the Brown community actually suffers from eating disorders. That was jarring and eye-opening to realize. It’s a reminder that the work that you do is so much bigger than you. Even a funny show, like Never Have I Ever can make such a drastic impact without even really understanding the gravity of it. 

V: I think the show is really good at just exploring these dynamics, themes that don’t involve romance. While Aneesa’s romantic journey is very important, I find it really interesting that Never Have I Ever explores the dynamic of friend groups really in-depth, especially between Devi and Aneesa. What do you hope fans are taking away from their friendship? 

MS: One thing that I love about Devi’s friendship was Eleanor and Fabiola from season one is thatt they all hold each other accountable, which I think is so important. For example, in season two, when Devi finally confesses to an Aneesa, that she was the one who started the rumor about her eating disorder, Eleanor and Fabiola confront her about the principle of the situation and push her to do the right thing. 

I feel like you have to have friends that introduce you to new ideas or introduce you to different concepts that you were otherwise closed off to. And I think healthy discourse is crucial for a healthy relationship.

V: Now that season four is wrapping up filming. What do you think your audience will be anticipating from Aneesa for season three since it's coming out in August?

MS: It's super sweet. I saw comments that a lot of people were excited to see me come back. So that alone was this super gratifying. I think that people are hoping to see some sort of justice for Aneesa though. I didn't like the way they ended it at the prom between Ben (Aneesa’s love interest) and Devi.  So I'm excited to see fans react to what happened with that situation. Yeah, I think I can't really give away too much about it in three, but I think that's like the main thing that most fans are looking forward to., I hope people get to learn a little bit more about Aneesa and what brought to the surface yet. 

V: You’re working with Bishal Dutta for his horror movie that’s yet to release its title and also Searching 2 alongside Storm Reid. What's your process in choosing your roles?

MS: I'm just going to keep it as real as possible.  I'm still not in a position where I'm like actively choosing a role and can say ‘Oh, I can turn away this dope project.’ Although it is building toward that route too. [Searching 2] came along in the middle of filming season two of Never Have I Ever, and it worked out really well.   

V:  How would you describe your personal style? 

MS:  Recently, I've been able to work in the world of fashion but I like to say that my personal style is one that looks like I raided Adam Sandler's closet–always super baggy oversized stuff. 

V: Is there anything else this year that you would like to accomplish or has everything already been checked off your list?

MS: Everything has definitely not been checked off. I still have a lot of ambitious plans. But right now, what I'm in the middle of working on is finding that balance between my career as an actor but not defining my entire life as one. I think you can have that balance between being an ambitious woman, but then also taking time for yourself and just remembering to be a human being in this crazy world where all this shit is going on. 

Season 3 of Never Have I Ever starring Megan Suri will be out August 12 on Netflix

Credits: Make-Up Artist: Liselotte van Saarloos Hair Stylist: Joeri Rouffa

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