He may be more than just abs, but Never Have I Ever fans love looking at shirtless pictures of Darren Barnet! The actor made his debut on the Netflix series as Paxton Hall-Yoshida when the show premiered in April 2020, and he’s had ton of shirtless moments in the show since the first season.
“They originally told me they wanted me to take it off from behind, with one hand, and I kept choking myself,” Darren told Entertainment Tonight in May 2020 about his iconic shirtless scene, which has since been recreated by fans. “So, I was like, it’s not going to work this way, man, it’s going around my neck, so I went how about this way, doing it with the other arm, and they were like yeah, just do it as fast as you can. So, I went home, and I was like [whooshing sound]. It became like muscle memory.”
The actor explained that it’s become “a moment” for his career. “When I saw how many people are doing it, I had no idea that move was going to such, like, a thing,” he told ET.
In the show, the Los Angeles native plays the physically fit high school student, but in real life, he left school in the past a long time ago. However, he isn’t mad about playing a teenager in his 30s.
“It’s really not a new formula,” he told Us Weekly in April 2022. “Look at 90210 and Grease — Kenickie was about to cash in his 401k. This guy was [old]! It’s fun!”
Darren added, “I try not to get too self-critical of myself when I’m watching it. Like, ‘Oh, God, I look so much older than this person.’ That’s [a] point of mental health that I’ve really had to digest. I’ve [had to] become OK with watching myself and accepting of the fact that I’m not 18. I’m not really this guy.”
That being said, playing younger gives him an excuse to stay in shape.
“I’m constantly trying to make sure my body looks nice, but the focus has been more so on just feeling healthy,” the Netflix star explained. “So, it’s kind of been good. It makes me stay in shape and stay active. Sometimes, it does cause a little bit of pressure, but I’m really grateful to be in that position.”
Scroll through the gallery to see Darren’s hottest shirtless moments.