Ever wonder how actors and actresses prepare for their roles? Well, thanks to Hanna Stein, now we know exactly how she got ready to portray non-traditional mean girl, Shira, in Netflix’s latest series, Never Have I Ever. That’s right, we recently caught up with the 25-year-old and not only did she spill on her preparation before filming (which included help from a certain Kardashian-Jenner sister), but she also shared some pretty epic behind-the-scenes secrets from the show’s set, too!

“I love how Mindy [Kaling] and Lang [Fisher] — the creators — wrote this character because you don’t see her like picking on Devi, she’s really more focused on, what high schoolers today are obsessed with, which is social media and having dreams of being an influencer,” Hanna dished. “So I actually took some tips from Kylie Jenner, in the sense of, I watched a lot of her videos. It’s a compliment Kylie because you see her doing these videos, admiring herself and she’s just like, ‘I’m fabulous.’ And that’s the one thing about Shira is, even if it’s kind of superficial, she is very confident in herself, and that is a hard thing to be in high school.”

When playing the fan-favorite character, Hanna said wanted to create, “this fun version of a millennial popular girl.”

“I really went into it trying to find my own angle to make her, so the audience didn’t dislike her. She’s off awful to her boyfriend, but she also is so fun to watch,” the actress explained. “I truly was genuinely surprised by how many fans reached out to me and were like, ‘Oh my God.’ And it means so much to me that I could create a character that so many fans loved.”

As it turned out, Hanna didn’t think she would even get the role at all! Yep, during the audition process, she thought she was too old for the role of Shira.

“A lot of the girls looked like me, but they were all probably five years younger. I was like, ‘Uh oh, I’m maybe too old’,” she remembered. “So I was like, I’m going to go in there and I’m just going to have so much fun. And I did. Then, I had a call back and then I got the role. I was over-the-moon excited!”

Two weeks later, Hanna started filming with the rest of the cast, and they all immediately became such close friends! During the current coronavirus pandemic, they even got together and made “a group TikTok,” which turned out pretty amazing.

“Honestly everyone in the cast was so, so amazing and I’m just really blessed that I got to be a part of it,” she added. “I probably was closest with, Dana [Vaughns], he plays Marcus — one of the bros of Paxton. And then Aitana [Rinab], who plays BFF. We like opened our doors, shared our trailer and we became super close. Everyone on the cast was just so amazing and so friendly. I think this was a big opportunity for pretty much everybody.”

For those who missed it, after it premiered on Netflix, Never Have I Ever hit number one on the streaming service. According to Hanna, the cast still keeps in touch and couldn’t stop talking about their major accomplishment.

“Everyone’s just really surprised. Nobody expected to be number one worldwide in the first two days, that was just unheard of,” the star gushed. “I was in shock and honestly, I was genuinely surprised by how much love Shira got just because, she’s just kind of a substory to Ben’s overall arc. So, just seeing how many people fell in love with her was so surprising for everyone, and we’re all just really excited and so happy everybody liked it.”

Love J-14? Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for fun, exclusive videos with your favorite stars.