Plus, the actress shares what she wants to see in season 2.

The Sex Lives of College Girls (TV series)

Warning: This article contains spoilers for season 1 of The Sex Lives of College Girls.

In the first season of HBO Max's The Sex Lives of College Girls, Bela (Amrit Kaur) went on a real journey of discovering what she's willing to put up with to achieve her dreams. When she chose to go to Essex College, it was to hopefully join The Catullan, the school's well-known comedy magazine. But by the end of season 1, after experiencing racism, sexism, and sexual assault, she decided The Catullan wasn't worth it. (But don't worry, she's going to help start a ladies-only magazine!)

EW spoke with Kaur about Bela's journey and what she'd like to see in season 2.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I know the auditions for this show were all done via Zoom, so what was the experience of finding and landing this role like for you?

AMRIT KAUR: Insanity. The likelihood is always so small. I was in Canada. They asked for people with an O-1 visa [for "individuals with extraordinary ability or achievement"] to audition, I didn't have that. My callback got canceled. And then they decided to take the risk, they fell in love with me, I had to apply for an O-1 visa, and I got rejected. Then I had to apply again. Something in the world knew I needed to do this part. I took that to task, worked hard on my craft throughout the series, continued taking classes, working on my comedy. I'm just grateful to be able to tell Bela's story.

What did you connect to with Bela?

So much. Bela is a woman just like myself who has such big dreams. She's coming into this world that she has ideas about, and as a result of experiencing adulthood for the first time, she's experiencing racism, misogyny. I relate most to Bela's love of comedy. Bela opened that up for me, so I'm very grateful for that, getting to learn about this wide arsenal of comics through my research.

Sex Lives of College Girls
Amrit Kaur on 'Sex Lives of College Girls'
| Credit: HBO Max

What was it like to film the naked party?

Honestly, I loved it. As an actor, being in a room with so many people who are so in love with their bodies, different shapes and sizes, we all had a wonderful sense of humor about the scene, and that made shooting it so much easier and so much fun. I definitely did not go to any naked parties in university. I had heard of them but I was definitely not one of the cool kids invited to one. I'm living vicariously through Bela.

Did you have a sense when making the show that it was going to be a hit?

I can never guarantee anything, but I knew that [series co-creator] Mindy Kaling is a trailblazer and I was there to apprentice and learn from her and from all of the veterans on set. When I read the script, that's when I had a suspicion that it would be a hit. I think the script is quite brilliant, the writers did a wonderful job, and knock on wood, one day I get to be in a writers' room and see how it's all made. I'm very interested in that one day too.

What's your favorite episode from season 1?

I love the pilot. I love it not just as a character but as an actor, coming in to set, trying new things, exploring the character. I had done so much prep work for so many months, and it was finally the first time I was saying these words in character with my scene partners. So that was very memorable.

I also love that dinner scene in episode 6 so much.

Yes. It was incredible watching a lot of veteran comedians. Sherri Shepherd is a veteran comedian, and she took me under her wing throughout the series and invited me to her stand-up shows to sit in and learn from her. I'm very grateful for that. I definitely learned from her knowledge of comedy.

What was your reaction to finding out she left The Catullan?

I think it's great. It can't be said whether she made a right or wrong choice, her journey is her journey, but I think it's fantastic to see a woman who's coming from a sheltered home now stepping into the reality of adulthood and facing the world in its racism and, in this case, sexual assault, and seeing how to navigate that when she has such big dreams. That's hard. The peer pressure to not speak up because she wants so desperately to be part of The Catullan, I think she feels that quite deeply. It's empowering to see her make the decision that her integrity, her art and intelligence will lead her to wherever she needs to go and that doesn't have to be through The Catullan. It can be through a comedy group that she starts with other women.

What's something you'd like to see more of and dig into in season 2?

I feel like I can go even deeper in the comedy. I'm excited to go even further. I'm starting to prep for season 2 already, I'm going to a stand-up show today to perform a set, so the research continues! I'm looking forward to seeing where they lead her comedy trajectory, if she ends up on SNL or whether she goes and does stand-up or continues writing. Very excited to see that. I would also like to see Bela's journey with her parents more intimately, because she's so rebellious and obnoxious it would be interesting to see how her parents handle that.

Season 1 of The Sex Lives of College Girls is streaming now on HBO Max.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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The Sex Lives of College Girls
The Sex Lives of College Girls (TV series)

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