Mindy Kaling, Actor
Mindy Kaling has appeared in many recent funny movies, including “40 Year Old Virgin”, “License to Wed”, “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian”, and “Despicable Me.” Her television career is well noted. I fell in love with the Kelly Kupoor character on The Office. How could you not? Even Ryan the Temp kept going back! Now that the show is ending, I was happy to hear that Mindy was starting her own show, but I was skeptical. Would The Mindy Project be successful? I have to admit, I’m really enjoying the show. In a recent interview, Mindy discussed the new show and her feelings about it. Enjoy!
TheTwoCents: There is such great chemistry between all the cast on the show. Was it instant, or did it take a little bit of time for everyone to gel since you’re also their boss, kind of?
Mindy Kaling: I think it is a little easier for me now because I created the show I’m not shy around strangers because I in general either auditioned them or approached them for part so now I’ve been thinking a lot them before they started working with me, so for whatever reason that made me less shy. Ed Weeks is still a little intimidating to me though, because he seems to me like the 70s era, like serious drama actor, like actually he stepped out of the French connection. That vibe and my vibe is very different so he’s still a little intimidating to me although I love him very dearly.
TTC: Mindy, what do you think about Amy Poehler and Tina Fey hosting the Golden Globes?
MK: It’s so exciting. I can’t wait to watch. I watch the Globes anyway because you get to see glamorous movie stars, and to know it will be legitimately funny in between. Even when I watch the Globes I just kind of want to see cuts of Salma Hayek and cutting to Michael Fassbender or whatever, and now I’m ready for actual comedy in between the awards.
TTC: I’m curious; you have so much going on right now. You have the show and then I heard that you’re also working on a movie that could possibly star Anne Hathaway. What can you talk to us about that?
MK: Yes. I’ve been a fan of Anne Hathaway since as long as I can remember. I mean she’s been in—more than any actress I can recall, she’s been in such different kinds of movies. What I like about her is that this movie that I wrote, this part, which I had her in mind for a while, she’s not playing like a gorgeous heroine, like the character is kind of pretty unglamorous, a little dowdy, and a little down on herself and I just like that she’s into that. One of my favorite movies is “Bridget Jones’s Diary” because Renee Zellweger just totally goes for it in terms of being imperfect and is so funny and so sort of down to do that kind of thing. I like that she can play Cat Woman, but is also willing to play this more like dreary part. I mean, it’s not “North Country” or anything, but like she’s not looking like a sexy leading lady in this movie.
TTC: I wanted to follow up on that and just try to get you to describe a day in the life because you wear so many hats on The Mindy Project. Right? You are acting in it, as well as, executive producing, writing, and all of that. What is it like to be you in a typical day, right now?
MK: Typical day? Typical day is I wake up between 5:30 and 6:00 in the morning. I walk like a zombie to my shower and take a shower. I have so much family and friends on the East Coast so they all have already been up and I have messages and texts from them. Drive to work, listen to some Justin Timberlake in the car on way there. Hair and make-up. My God, this is so boring I can’t believe this is interesting discussion. I check in with the writers, they get in around 10:00 a.m. and I’ve been acting for couple of hours and am always excited to see them because when I get to work it’s like a ghost town; it’s like the walking dead when I first show up. There’s nobody there except for me so I wait until they get there a little while later, I’m so excited to see them. I wrap, usually around five or six at night and in between writing stuff I will go check in with the writers and then I stay until between ten and midnight hanging out with them. It sounds like a long schedule but because it’s my show and because I’m working with essentially all my best friends it feels like a very grueling vacation, if that makes sense?
TTC: I wanted to know how similar is the voice of Mindy the character to your own voice, and how were we going to see it develop in the rest of the season?
MK: I think the character is pretty different than me, Mindy Kaling. I have the lifestyle of a nerdy, boring writer; that’s my lifestyle. The character has a kind of a great glamorous job, and an exciting job, and a kind of even noble job … and loves to party and to go out. I think that the character wishes she could do that, and … isn’t able to. We both had arrested development, I think that’s where we’re very similar, like both were nerds. Elementary school, high school, college; that’s where me and my character really differ, when she finished medical school she really likes to party, she likes to drink, she is definitely more boy crazy than me. Whereas I just don’t have that in me, but I like writing that character; I think that’s really fun. If I wrote characters that was actually me and my life no one would watch it. She puts herself out there, that’s why I was like she’s very confident and puts herself out there despite her flaws. I’m not nearly so confident, which is why my character is so fun to play.
Catch Mindy as Mindy on FOX, Tuesday nights at 9:30PM ET!!
Anne – Assistant TO the Editor-In-Chief