When tennis legend John McEnroe retired in 2006, he probably never imagined that he would be the voice narrating the life experiences of teenager Devi Vishwakumar in the Netflix coming-of-age series, “Never Have I Ever.”
However, that unlikely career choice can be credited to Mindy Kaling and her exceptional brilliance in making a 63-year-old man be a sort of inside voice for a 16-year-old overachieving but troubled high schooler.
In a recent interview, McEnroe opened up about how he and Kaling ventured on such a journey despite never knowing each other before.
John McEnroe Opens Up About Being The Voice Of ‘Never Have I Ever’
While speaking to ET Online, the 17-time Grand Slam winner talked about his role in the comedy-drama series, saying, “Who would’ve thought that [I] would be the sort of psychologist or uncle or advisor to an 18- or 17-year-old Indian American girl going through high school, so I got to credit Mindy Kaling.”
Explaining how Kaling came up with such a unique idea, McEnroe revealed that “The Office” alum got the inspiration from her own life. “It turned out her father was a big tennis fan and must’ve talked about me a lot when she was growing up,” the 63-year-old said. “He was in India and it’s sort of her story.”
As for how he and Kaling met, McEnroe recalled that it happened at a Vanity Fair Oscar after-party. “I met her at this Vanity Fair Oscar party and we were just crossing paths, and [my wife] Patty [Smyth] goes, ‘Oh, that’s Mindy Kaling!'” he recalled.
McEnroe continued, “I wasn’t even sure who it was then and [Mindy]’s like, ‘Oh my god, I have this idea of you narrating this show,’ and I’m like, ‘Oh yeah, yeah, sure you do. Of course, I’m gonna narrate this show.’ … And then, hey, it actually — this is actually working!”
The “You Cannot Be Serious” author opened up about his experience so far as the narrator of the show, describing it as “gratifying.” He added, “people have always said, ‘I recognize your voice, so here’s your chance to prove it.'”
The Netflix Comedy Series Was Renewed For Season 4
McEnroe’s interview comes months after fans of the coming-of-age series received some bittersweet news. As The Blast reported, the critically-acclaimed show, which has been praised for its South Asian representation, was renewed for its fourth season — unfortunately, also its last season.
Creator Kaling announced the news via a statement on Twitter, “Hey Crickets, we’ve got some morning announcements for you: Season 3 of Never Have I Ever is gonna drop this summer! Plus, we’ve just been renewed for a fourth and final season, which we are absolutely thrilled about. We can’t wait to reveal all the steamy romance and hilarious adventures we have in store for you. Thanks to all our fans for your support – especially you #Bevi and #Daxton stans. We love you.”
Fans gave mixed reactions to the news with many excited about the release of season three but sad that they had to say goodbye after season four. One fan wrote, “This is a bummer but also exciting! The show will get — 20? — more episodes and end on its own terms. I’m happy about that!”
Another comment read, “What do you mean fourth and final season? Mindy, this is not right,” while this fan added, “thank you for another series with a strong female lead. thank you for the laughs & letting us feel it is ok to be unapologetically yourself. the characters you write, the stories you create @mindykaling have helped me & other women gain confidence & feel better about ourselves.”
McEnroe Talks Serena Williams’ Retirement
Last week, the record holder of the only male player to win more than 70 titles in both the men’s singles and the men’s doubles categories gave his thoughts on Serena Williams’ retirement from Tennis.
View this post on Instagram
McEnroe had nothing but praises for Williams, calling her an “icon.” He compared her to several greats in the sporting industry, saying, “I hope it goes well for her, but it doesn’t matter ultimately [because] she’s an icon. She’s like Muhammad Ali, in a way, and Michael Jordan, Billie Jean King, Tom Brady. I mean, she’s up with the all-time athletes, whether she wins a match or she wins the tournament.”
He shared his hopes that Williams’ story would “inspire more kids to play the sport of tennis in the future.”