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Who Plays Des on ‘Never Have I Ever’? Meet Anirudh Pisharody


Never Have I Ever is back, and Devi finally has her sights set on a new man.

In honor of Season 3, Mindy Kaling, Lang Fisher, and the Never Have I Ever team introduced a third love interest into Devi’s life. She doesn’t just have Ben and Paxton to choose from anymore. Now Nirdesh, Des for short, is in the picture. And he’s played by 28-year-old Anirudh Pisharody.

Never Have I Ever follows spirited teen Devi Vishwakumar (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) as she and her besties Fabiola (Lee Rodriguez) and Eleanor (Ramona Young) look for love and try to climb their high school’s social ladder. While Devi’s mastered the art of putting on a brave face, she and her family — including her mom Nalini (Poorna Jagannathan), cousin Kamala (Richa Moorjani) and grandma Nirmala (Ranjita Chakravarty) — are still dealing with the death of Devi’s dad, Mohan (Sendhil Ramamurthy).

Season 3 of the Netflix romantic dramedy introduces several new characters, including a new friend for Nalini named Rhyah (Sarayu Blue) and her son, Des. But who exactly is Des? And what do we know about Anirudh Pisharody, the actor who plays him on screen? We’ve got you covered. But be warned, spoilers for Never Have I Ever Season 3 lie ahead.

Who is Nirdesh aka Des on Never Have I Ever?

As noted, Des is the teenage son of Nalini’s new wellness-obsessed friend, Rhyah. One night, Devi tries to sneak out to a house party and Nalini tells her she can go as long as she brings Des. Because Des is into marine biology and the first half of his name sounds like “nerd,” Devi assumes he’ll be a complete dork, but when he walks into the house party she’s pleasantly surprised to learn he’s smokin’ hot. Recently dumped by Paxton, Devi gets emotional seeing him with a new girl at the party and runs outside. Des follows her and after an intimate heart-to-heart the two go back inside and start flirting to make Paxton jealous. It works like a charm, but Devi doesn’t even notice, because she’s genuinely crushing on Des.

Anirudh Pisharody as Nirdesh in 'Never Have I Ever'
Photo: Netflix

Des and Devi have a great night together and he says he’ll keep in touch, then proceeds to ghost her for a maddening, downright rude stretch of time. Des and Devi reconnect when he and his mom go to her house for dinner, and it’s awkward to say the least. He shares he got into Stanford early, but Devi isn’t impressed. Instead, she calls him out for ghosting. After the two make amends they attempt to date in secret. In theory, things are going great. Des has the looks of Paxton and the brains of Ben, and he’s even on his school’s debate team! But in reality, the moms are always around, repeatedly killing their romantic vibes.

Desperate for alone time with Des, Devi tricks her mom into going out so she can host a friends game night. The evening takes a turn when Devi finds Des’ friend Parker (Deacon Phillippe) smacking around her dad’s most prized possession — a John McEnroe tennis racket — in the garage. She runs up to her room crying and shares a sweet moment with Paxton. Des sees the old flames bond and decides to leave with Parker, but the next he and Devi make up and make out in his room. As a reminder, these two have no privacy! So Des’ mom catches them smooching and calls Nalini over to discuss. Nalini’s usually super strict about Devi’s love life, but because she trusts him and Rhyah, she approves. But Rhyah looks a little concerned if we’re being honest.

Terry Hu as Addison, Deacon Phillippe as Parker, Anirudh Pisharody as Nirdesh, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as Devi in episode 308 of 'Never Have I Ever'
Photo: Netflix

Whatever! Devi and Des are officially a couple. It’s great! Until it isn’t. Specifically, after Des and Rhyah attend Devi’s orchestra concert. Before she takes the stage, Devi thinks she sees her dad in the audience and has a panic attack. She runs into the bathroom crying, and Rhyah finds and comforts her. When Devi explains it’s her first orchestra concert since her dad had a heart attack in the audience, Rhyah seems incredibly genuine and understanding. She helps Devi feel better, but after the concert, she tells Des he needs to break up with Devi because she has a lot of issues. RUDE!

Ben overhears Rhyah’s blunt, insensitive orders to Des and tries to figure out how to tell Devi. In the days that follow, Des dodges Devi, so Ben finally comes clean. When Devi confronts Des he tells her, “Dating you isn’t worth pissing off my mom,” and honestly? She reacts appropriately by throwing iced coffee in his face. Rhyah walks in on their disagreement and takes Devi home to tell Nalini. Once Nalini learns what prompted Devi’s behavior, she stands up for her and that’s the end of Des. Devi and Nalini, you rule. Who needs Des and his mom?

Who is Anirudh Pisharody, The Actor Who Plays Des in Never Have I Ever Season 3 on Netflix?

Anirudh Pisharody is a 28-year-old actor whose TV career began in 2018 when he played a CSI Officer in the TV series documentary, People Magazine Investigates. Since then, Pisharody has appeared in shows including The Bold and the Beautiful, The Goldbergs, and Last Man Standing, though he’s best known for his recent role as Ravi Panikkar in the Fox drama 9-1-1.

Pisharody only has 2,800 Twitter followers, but he has nearly 37,000 Instagram followers. We expect both numbers will rise once Never Have I Ever fans lay eyes on Season 3.

As Pisharody’s IMDb page notes, he has several upcoming projects, including a role in the Season 3 premiere of ABC’s Big Sky, which airs September 21, 2022.





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