jaren-lewin
Jaren Lewison | Biography 2021

Quick Information

  • Full Name Jaren Lewison
  • Occupation Actor
  • Nationality American
  • Birthplace Dallas, Texas, United States
  • Birth Date Dec 09, 2012
  • Age 8 Years, 9 Months
Cast Of 'Never I Have Ever'

Jaren Lewison | Biography 2021

Lewison began acting when he was five years old. He was in an aftercare program then, as his mother worked as a kindergarten teacher. There, he met an improv group who later referred his name to a local Dallas film and television agent through which he ended up appearing on Barney (2008-2009) as a child artist. 


Jaren Lewison is an American actor best known for his portrayals in the American comedy-drama series, Never Have I Ever and the American comedy film Tag.

Who is Jaren Lewison?

Jaren Lewison was born on 9 December 2000, in Dallas, Texas, United States, and had a great interest in acting since he was a child. He made his first major on-screen appearances on Barney & Friends in Season 12 (2008) and 13 (2009) as Joshua. Before this, in 2007, he was featured in short, animal-themed children’s videos, ‘Gymboree Presents; The Very Brave Elephant and His Friends’, and ‘Let’s Get Moving! Trains, Cars, and Planes’ in a kid’s role.

In addition to television appearances, he also participated in theatre in high school. While at Pearce High School, he was a cast member of the play Mamma Mia and also portrayed William Shakespeare in the high school’s adaptation of the 1998 film Shakespeare in Love. Best known for his role as Ben Gross in the television series, Never Have I Ever (2020-2021)—which he filmed while being a full-time student at the University of California (class of 2024’)—Lewison already has over 15 appearance credits.

Early Life and Education

Jaren was born to a Jewish family. Raised by father Jason Lewison and mother Lauren Bernstein Lewison, he grew up in Dallas with his older sister Mikayla Lewison. He attended Levine Academy, a Conservative Jewish day school in Dallas where his mother worked as a kindergarten teacher and spent his 14 academic years there at Levine. He then enrolled at Pearce High School in Richardson, Texas, graduating in 2019.

While at Pearce High School, he was actively engaged in collegiate football and was even the captain of the varsity football team. In addition to playing football, he also participated and performed in the theater. In addition to the play Mamma Mia, he portrayed William Shakespeare in his senior year at college, in the high school’s adaptation of the 1998 film Shakespeare in Love. The production was even chosen to be performed at the 2019 International Thespian Festival.

In 2019, he started attending the University of Southern California, where he is currently majoring in psychology with minors in forensics and criminology (class of 2024’).

He never left his studies midway to pursue acting; he even filmed Never Have I Ever while being a full-time student at USC.

Career

Lewison began acting when he was five years old. He was in an aftercare program then, as his mother worked as a kindergarten teacher. There, he met an improv group who later referred his name to a local Dallas film and television agent through which he ended up appearing on Barney (2008-2009) as a child artist. 

Filmography

Lewison primarily started his career by working in short animal-themed children videos, namely, ‘Gymboree Presents; The Very Brave Elephant and His Friends’ and ‘Let’s Get Moving! Trains, Cars, and Planes,’ portraying kid roles in 2007. A year later, he made his first big-screen appearance on Barney & Friends as Joshua continued until 2009. Later in 2010, he again starred in a 54 minutes long video, Barney: Let’s Play Outside, portraying the same character, Joshua.

The same year, in 2010, Lewison worked on Lone Star, playing the role of Young Robert and played Joshua in  Barney: A Very Merry Christmas in 2011. In 2012, he took over the part of Roman DiRizzo in Bad Fairy, and two years later, in 2014, appeared as Jake Truby in Men, Women & Children.

In 2015, he appeared as Kyle Peterson in Away Back and as Young Adam in the Back Beyond the Farthest Star. The same year, he starred as Jackson in A Horse Tale. Then in 2018, he got himself with a hit action-comedy movie Tag as an 18-year-old teen Hoagie. In 2019, he played Young Tommy in the crime thriller 90 Feet from Home. He later gained widespread stardom through Never Have I Ever (2020-2021) serieswhere he portrayed Ben Gross.

‘Never Have I Ever'

Never Have I Ever is an American comedy-drama television series co-created by Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher that stars Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as Devi, the pivot of the storyline. The creator, Kaling’s childhood, inspired the comedy series. It premiered on Netflix on 27 April 2020. 

The series portrays the circumstances of an Indian-American high schooler after her father’s demise and how she deals with her grief, national identity, school life as well as perimeters her struggle in maintaining her relationship with her mother, Nalini (Poorna Jagannathan), cousin, Kamala (Richa Moorjani), her two best friends, Eleanor (Ramona Young) and Fabiola (Lee Rodriguez), her high school crush, Paxton (Darren Barnet), and her arch-enemy, Ben (Jaren Lewison)

The series has received favorable reviews—one of the main reasons being how the storyline shattered Asian stereotypes. 

Jaren Lewison on ‘Never Have I Ever

Jaren Lewison played the role of Ben Gross, the main character Devi’s archenemy-turned-supporter-turned-potential-love-interest in Never Have I Ever. Upon receiving the news about his selection as a cast member of the series, he said it was the best moment of his life in a zoom interview with Alma.

“Netflix has always been my dream. I watch Netflix 24/7. So when I got the role, I couldn’t even believe it. I kept saying, are you guys serious?! It blew every expectation that I had away,” he said.

He even Instagrammed his excitement, “Never Have I Ever... met the coolest boy in the world. World, meet Ben Gross. So excited to finally announce my part in (neverhaveiever) on (Netflix)! Created by (MindyKaling) & (LoulieLan)g: two of the most incredible women I know.”

Lewison further expressed in an interview with Vulture that his character Ben and him shared many similarities in terms of personality and behavior.

“There’s some parts of Ben I can definitely relate to, and a lot of parts I did not experience in my personal life. I can relate to his vulnerable side. I’m very protective and loyal and into always being there for my friends, and you see that towards the end of the season with Ben. In terms of Ben’s academic pursuit of excellence, I also love school. I’m a student at USC”, he shared.

‘Never Have I Ever’ Season 2 and its COVID-19 Relief Support Initiative

Netflix confirmed the renewal of the second season of its popular show Never Have I Ever, premiering in July 2021.

On 8 May, a live table reading on Netflix’s youtube platform was conducted, presenting a sneak peek to Season 2 of the Netflix series, Never Have I Ever, to raise funds for ‘GiveIndia’ in support of their COVID relief effort throughout the world. The creator Mindy Kaling herself shared the news on her Instagram handle.

“Hey, friends and fam! I am so excited about this. We are coming together to try to help our brothers and sisters in India,” Kaling wrote.

‘Never Have I Ever’ Season 2

The second season of Never Have I Ever, according to Lewison, will have even more drama premising the lead character Devi's decision between Ben and Paxton. "The love triangle gets even more fascinating," Lewinson shared with Access Hollywood. "I will say, without giving too much away, but it's going to be a wild journey for sure", he added.

‘"You know, like, Ben matches Devi in so many ways, like the academic rigor. They've got witty banter. Like, they both have so much together going on," Lewison as well as stated to UPI on 1 June 2021. "But also, like, you have formidable competition. Like, Paxton is this super fit, really charming dude", he continued. 

Lewison further wrote on his Instagram on 10 June 2021, “Verified Mark your calendars! Thursday, July 15. SHERMAN OAKS HIGH IS BACK IN SESSION ⚠️😉 (neverhaveiever), also… team Ben. SZN 2 Trailer in ONE WEEK !”

Likewise, o17 June 2021, Netflix released the trailer for Never Have I Ever Season 2, offering fans their first peek at what Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) will be up to.

The trailer gave a sneak peek to Devi trying to choose one between her two co-stars, Paxton (Darren Barnet) and Ben (Jaren Lewison). While Devi is split between two options, her best friends Eleanor (Ramona Young) and Fabiola (Lee Rodriguez) give her the same answer in one tone: “Paxton.”

Eleanor asked, “When you’re old and on your deathbed, whose naked body do you want to be picturing?”

‘Tag’

Lewinson portrayed the 18 years old Hoagie in the 2018 action-comedy Tag that follows a small circle of former classmates participating in a yearly game of tag, which necessitates some of them traveling across the nation. 

Tag casts the ever-twerpy star of The Hangover (2009), alongside a gang that includes Jon Hamm as a pompous CEO, Jake Johnson as a tragic stoner divorcee, and Hannibal Buress as the underwritten sidekick who steals the show by whispering the funniest jokes.

Tag was nominated for the 2018 'Teen Choice Award', 2018 'Legacy Award' for 'Best Comedy Film', the nominees; Broken Road Productions (production company) and Warner Bros. (distributor) and the 2018 'Hollywood Music In Media Awards' for 'Outstanding Music Supervision - Film'.

‘Barney & Friends’

Between 2008 and 2009, Lewinson appeared in four episodes of Barney & Friends, a children's show that ran from 1992 to 2010. He portrayed the character, Joshua, in the series.

The show follows the titular Barney's friends as they find the creativity that allows them to glide through fantasy, from imagining to be a pilot on a toy plane to pretending to be a pirate in pursuit of buried riches!

Besides the main series, Lewinson portrayed his character Joshua on other Barney franchises like, Barney: Let's Play Outside (2010), Barney: Let's Go on Vacation (2009), and Barney: A Very Merry Christmas: The Movie (2011).

‘90 Feet From Home’

2019, crime, drama, and thriller amalgam 90 Feet from Home starred Lewinson as a young version of Tommy. Directed by Brett Bentman and co-written by Brett Bentman and Scott Davis, the storyline follows the protagonist, a former Major League Baseball who returns home to confront his abusive step-father.

The show had bagged the 2019 'Best Director' award by Albuquerque Film & Music Experience and the same year’s 'Festival Award' for 'Best Feature Film', 'Best Director of a Feature Film', and 'Best Supporting Actor in a Feature Film' (to Shawn Michaels). The film was nominated for various categories in the 2019 Orlando Film Festival as well, namely, 'Best Actor', 'Best Cinematography', 'Best Director', 'Best Picture', and 'Best Trailer'.

‘Away and Back’

Lewinson appeared as Kyle Peterson in the comedy, drama, and romance hybrid Away and Back in 2015. The film was nominated for the 2015 'Primetime Emmy' for 'Outstanding Music Composition for a Limited Series, Movie or a Special (Original Dramatic Score)' and 2016 'Rosie' for 'Best Overall Sound (Drama Over 30 Minutes)'.

“It’s a family movie, it is about us coming together", Lewison told Mingle Media TV in 2015 on why viewers should watch the movie. “ I won’t spoil it but it's just us overcoming a big obstacle with the mom dying and it's about coming together. I think that is the message for this film”, he added.

Award

Lewinson was nominated for the 2021 'MTV Movie + TV Award' for 'Best Kiss' in Never Have I Ever (2020). He shared the nomination with his co-star Maitreyi Ramakrishnan.

Study and career

Lewison pursued acting from a very young age but never let this hamper or obstruct his studies. In one of his interviews with Alma (2020), he expressed how fulfilling his dual life, academic and professional, was hard. “It was hard. I didn’t sleep very much”, he said

He was still a freshman at USC in 2020 when he starred at Never have I Ever. Then, he was planning to major in psychology with a minor in forensics and criminality. He eventually fulfilled his academic requirements, even after having significant absent days.

“I’m really good at time management and I kind of always have been. I’m a very planned person. And luckily, Never Have I Ever made it so easy, because they would tell me what my schedule was 14 days before. So if I had a 10-page essay, I’d write it three weeks in advance, so that when I was in the heat of shooting, I would already have everything done and I could turn it in three days early. I never got penalized for being late,” he credited his time management skills.

He’s still a student at USC, class of 2024’.

Did You Know?

Jaren got his name as a combination of his father, Jason, and mother Lauren’s first names. He shares a strong connection with his family members and bears their support in everything he does. He spends time with his family on frequent trips and enjoys snowboarding, which he loves the most. 

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