Ever since Never Have I Ever first hit Netflix on April 27, the series has seriously taken the world by storm! And thanks to one of the show’s stars, Hanna Stein, we know why! That’s right, J-14 recently chatted with the 25-year-old, and she dished on what makes the fan-favorite series so relatable among high schoolers, and why they should all be watching it.

When it comes to playing her character, the non-traditional mean girl named Shira, the actress hoped that teenage viewers would be able to see her confidence and bring that into their own lives.

“I actually was an outcast in high school. High school was a struggle for me,” she explained. “You know, high school is hard no matter what and I don’t want them to emulate her, more so just [off] the bat [see] this girl is confident in who she is. So, whoever you are out there be confident in that, because there’s nothing interesting about being ordinary and it took me a long time to learn that. High school is difficult for anyone that feels a little bit different. It was interesting playing this popular girl when that wasn’t my story in high school.”

She continued, “There’s so much [social media] content and you can’t help but compare and contrast. As a young 16-year-old, that can really fill your head and become difficult. So, if I have an influence, I just really hope I can express these young girls, be yourself and thrive. Everyone should just be themselves and it gets better after high school.”

As for the message Hanna wants people to take the from Never Have I Ever as a whole? She just wants viewers to remember to “be yourself” no matter what.

“Obviously Devi’s character goes through such a journey when coming back to school, trying to be something else. Always just be yourself, as cliché as that is. But you see Devi come back to herself and I think that’s what you should take away from it. You should always just stick to who you are,” Hanna said. “There’s so many beautiful messages in [the show] and I love the diversity. So, I think there’s so many things that you can take away from it, but that would definitely be the number one, and having people in your corner. Having solid friends, and try not to pick boys over your girlfriends.”

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