Jaren Lewison Is A Texas Boy At Heart

NYLON Nineteen

Jaren Lewison Is A Texas Boy At Heart

The Never Have I Ever Star takes the NYLON 19.

The following contains major spoilers for Never Have I Ever Season 4.

Right now, Jaren Lewison’s DMs are being flooded.

It’s the week leading up to the fourth and final season of Never Have I Ever, Netflix’s hit coming of age comedy in which he plays the obnoxious nerd with a heart of gold, Ben Gross — and his fans are desperate to know how Ben’s story ends. More specifically, they’re waiting with bated breath to find out what happens with his will-they-won’t-they romance with Devi Vishwakumar, the show’s overachieving, hot-headed protagonist.

“It's a lot of fans being like, ‘Does Devi end up with Ben? Can you tell me? I swear I won't tell anyone,’” he tells NYLON from Los Angeles.

Never Have I Ever Season 4 continues its streak of being a crown jewel amongst Netflix’s seemingly endless stream of original content. Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher create a deeply satisfying ending that honors the show’s core tenets: the peaks and valleys of grief; diaspora pangs; and the enemies-to-lovers trope, perfected by Maitreyi Ramakrishnan and Lewison’s excellent chemistry and knack for volleying a salvo of insults with comedic precision.

Lewison is touched by the show’s global fandom — that the series and his character could mean so much to so many. “That's something that I still don't think that I've grasped,” he says. “We're going to Brazil in about a week to promote the new season, and I looked at the schedule and there's one thing that says average audience, like, 9,000. And I was like, people? 9,000 people are coming to see the three of us?” (It’s the “Come to Brazil” meme brought to life.)

Ahead, Lewison takes on the NYLON 19 in celebration of Never Have I Ever Season 4 — where he dishes on everything from his love for Whataburger to his latest internet rabbit hole.

1. What’s your astrological sign (and do you believe in it)?

I'm a Sagittarius, and no. I am a super scientific person. I need very cold, hard proof. It's not something that I have really resonated with. But I know that a lot of people love it. And I have heard that Sagittarius is a good sign, so I'll take it.

2. Do you believe in ghosts, (and have you ever seen one)?

I don't believe in ghosts, but I definitely believe in aliens. I also hate being scared. The possibility that I believe in ghosts is definitely there, but I will not go ghost hunting because I do not want to see one in case they are real.

3. What’s your go-to drink order? (And if it's boozy, what’s your go-to hangover cure?)

I have a lemonade recipe. My cousin used to live in Pasadena and he had a lemon tree, and they perfected this lemonade recipe, which I will just guzzle by the gallon. Something that I could buy at the store is Dr. Pepper. I love Dr. Pepper. And then if it's a boozy drink, I'm a whiskey guy. I'm from Dallas. I don't know if that's a Texas thing. That's the liquor that I've always preferred. So I would go with an old fashioned if I was at a restaurant.

My hangover cure is Liquid IV. It's like an electrolyte powder. And if you drink it before you start boozing, for the most part, I've had pretty good success. Then if I need to, it'll be two liquid gel Advils.

4. Who would be the three headliners of the music festival of your dreams?

This is going to be a very different answer than I think most people, but my favorite band is the Tejon Street Corner Thieves. It's super country, folksy, bluesy rock. They have their own niche of music, which is called Trash Grass. It's a lot of banjo, fiddle, they have really gravelly voices. I'll see them anytime that they’re in town.

Next would be Luke Combs. Again, I'm a country boy. I love country. He cannot make a bad song. It is my dream to go see him in concert. Every time I’ve missed him by a month or two in every city that I've been in. It's really heinous, so I really want to see him.

Recently, I've been really into punk rock, the last one would be a band called Set It Off. I think that they likely will be my most listened to on Spotify this year, because I’m in the gym just hammering to Set It Off.

5. What's the weirdest snack that you make?

I love fried pickles. I used to have a deep fryer when I was a kid. I put it on my birthday list one year, and my dad had to go out on Black Friday and get me this deep fryer. I was very passionate and still am about a great fried pickle. I had perfected my recipe over the years. Then it broke, and I haven't gotten a new one because it smells up the house, and my mom didn't want it in the house. My dad and I would have to do it in the garage with the garage door open.

6. What's a bad habit of yours that you've been meaning to fix?

I don't know if I'm super meaning to fix it, but I've got a really bad sweet tooth. I cannot go a day without dessert. It is a conscious effort for me to be like, "No, no, no, I don't want it."

7. What was the last internet rabbit hole you went down?

I started reading Daisy Jones and the Six and I went through a really long form rabbit hole of finding what it was based on, which is Fleetwood Mac. I was like, “This has to be a real band!” but it not. I wanted to know what's true, what's not? What about the composition of these songs? How did everyone get cast? I haven't seen the show yet, I've been reading the book first.

8. What was the last DM you received?

It's a lot of people that are really excited about the season. That's probably the majority of my DMs right now. It's a lot of fans being like, "Does Devi end up with Ben? Can you tell me? I swear I won't tell anyone."

9. If you could be in any music video, what would it be?

My favorite music video is “Do I wanna Know?” by the Arctic Monkeys. It's animated. It's super trippy and the visuals are really, really, really cool. I think it's the most perfect music video ever made. It's the sickest thing ever. If they could animate me and somehow put me in there, I would just love that as a fan.

10. What was your first concert, and what are your memories of it?

I think it was a Selena Gomez concert when I was a kid, which I remember none of. I tried to go to several concerts in high school with my friends, and they all got canceled. All of them. We were supposed to see Lucas Graham and something happened. And then they were like, oh, rescheduled to March of next year. And we were seniors and we went to college, and that didn't happen. The first one that I ever actually remember going to was a year ago. I went to Hall and Oats at the Hollywood Bowl with one of my best friends and his parents. And they were great!

11. What was your favorite movie as a kid?

Spirit, the animated horse movie. I don't know why I loved it so much. I know how to ride a horse, but I wasn't an equestrian when I was a kid. I didn't compete in competitions. I wasn't a rodeo cowboy, but I loved that movie. I would love to be in an animated movie one day.

12. What was your teenage AIM screen name?

I know what that is, but that was before my time. Unfortunately, I was born in 2000.

13. What is your favorite red carpet look of all time worn by someone else?

I think Timothée Chalamet with the sleeves off, the open shirt. I definitely emulated that for the Season 4 Never Have I Ever premiere. I have not met Timothée, but he’s a legend.

14. What is one thing everyone should buy that is under $10?

A Whataburger patty melt. I don't think you can get a meal. I think that that might be a little over budget.

15. What piece of clothing from high school do you wish you kept?

You know what I wish I had? I am a very big sports person. I love sports. I played football all my life, and I wish that I kept my jersey. I was one of the captains of my high school football team and we made it to the second round of the playoff, which nobody expected it. We beat the 30th best team in the nation. We were projecting to lose by 40 plus points. And we went in there on their field and we won. I have a clipping from the newspaper, but I wish that I had kept that jersey. That sounds like I peaked in high school, but that was a really proud moment of my athletic career, which is now over. I would definitely hang that up if I had it.

16. What's a question you never want to be asked again?

How I felt about the Dallas Stars losing in the Stanley Cup. I don't want to talk about it. It's a sore subject. Or when's the next time the Cowboys are going to win the Super Bowl? I don't know. Soon, I hope!

17. What is your go-to sad song?

I think it's going to be a Louis Capaldi song, to be honest. Probably “Someone You Loved” if it's general melancholy.

18. What reality show would you most like to appear on?

Survivor. Maybe this is tooting my own horn, but I think that I would make it to merge and then I would get kicked out or voted out very soon after unless I could find a lot of idols. I think I'd be probably pretty decent at the challenges and my social game would be solid and they'd be like, "He needs to go."

19. What is your favorite fast food place, and what’s your order?

It's Whataburger. It’s a patty melt meal with a large root beer or Dr. Pepper, large fries, and buffalo sauce on the side.