In the years before becoming an overnight sensation as Paxton Hall-Yoshida on Netflix’s “Never Have I Ever,” Darren Barnet was booking one-off acting gigs while working at a SoulCycle in West Hollywood.
During a recent interview with In The Know’s Gibson Johns, Barnet, 29, recalled what it was like working the front desk and fixing bikes for the spinning studio’s clientele, which featured celebrities “all the time.”
“I mean, David Beckham was a regular. Super nice guy,” Barnet smiled. “I worked in the one in the Sunset Plaza, so it was just that type of location.”
The gig, and Barnet’s career taking off, resulted in an only-in-Los-Angeles kind of full-circle moment for the actor and one of the SoulCycle location’s most famous regulars.
“I got to meet a lot of people, a lot of really cool people. One of them, it was really interesting, was Tia Mowry — amazing woman,” he told ITK. “I grew up a huge fan of her on ‘Sister, Sister,’ and I used to help her set up her bike, and she was friends with everyone at the desk.”
“Four or five years later, I was booked as a guest star on the [sitcom] ‘Family Reunion’ that she’s on, on Netflix,” he went on. “She came to the table read, and I was like, ‘Tia, do you remember me?’ And she was like, ‘Wait, oh, my god!'”
“We had, like, a moment. It was just one of those [things where] like, five years ago, I’m sitting behind a desk just dying to do any sort of acting work, and now I’m in a room at a table read with you,” he laughed. “It was just… it was surreal!”
Looking back on his experience working at SoulCycle, the 29-year-old has nothing but fond memories, and it certainly putts his current fame into humbling perspective.
“Those are moments that you just hope and pray for, you know? SoulCycle has a special place in my heart.”
Listen to our full interview with Darren Barnet below. “Never Have I Ever” is available to stream on Netflix now.
If you enjoyed this article, check out In The Know’s recent interview with “Modern Family” star Nolan Gould here.
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