When most people think about Mindy Kaling, their first thought goes to either The Office or The Mindy Project. Of course, these are two of her most notable roles. Kaling has had a lot of work over the years, including roles that don’t include acting.
Since playing Kelly Kapoor, her career has taken off. She’s now one of the most recognizable, comedic faces in Hollywood. She has even landed gigs playing opposite Sandra Bullock, Oprah Winfrey, and Emma Thompson. Not a bad resume, if you ask us.
During a recent interview, Kaling opened up about her past and future work in Hollywood. She also discusses how she got started in the business, including the part of her career that she was embarrassed by.
Mindy Kaling’s early career
You might say that Kaling was meant to be a star. According to IMDb, while her mother was pregnant with her, she saw the television show, Mork and Mindy. It was the only American show playing in Nigeria at that time, and that is how she got her name. According to her, Robin Williams didn’t believe her when she told him the story.
After graduating from Dartmouth College, at 24-years-old, she started writing for The Office. She was part of NBC’s diversity program. It wasn’t long before she started playing Kelly Kapoor and her acting career took off.
After The Office, she starred in The Mindy Project. She played an OBGYN in New York. She often says that her inspiration for her character comes from her mother, who was an actual OB.
She has also been in a lot of great movies, like Ocean’s Eight and A Wrinkle in Time. Now, Kaling is excited about her new projects. Many of them are behind the scenes, writing, and producing.
What Mindy Kaling thinks about her future projects
During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Kaling explained why she was excited to do more writing and producing. “I think having a baby; I have been able to focus more on creating new material, and frankly finding new talents.”
She also talked about her new role in Late Night. It is coming out in June and also stars Emma Thompson. Kaling plays a character she knows well. Molly is hired to work as a writer for a late night talk show. She finds that her dream job is loaded with hostility.
It turns out that she was only hired to diversify the all white, male writing team. She also said that this role really hit home for her, because she used some of her past experiences while writing the script.
“I have all my distinct memories of being the only woman, and the only person of color on a TV sitcom writing staff as a young person, having no experience, and being terrified that I would get fired. All of those things which I can access so easily for Molly because they were so vivid to me.” She said about her character.
Mindy Kaling was embarrassed over ‘The Office’
While talking about her new role as Molly, she explained how she was actually embarrassed about this part of her career. In a way creating this character helped her work through some of it.
“I think there are times in situations where we beat around the bush about it, but I came upon The Office writing staff as a part of the NBC diversity initiative, and I remember feeling so embarrassed about that — grateful for it but embarrassed for other people to know that, because I didn’t want them to think that was the only reason that I was hired.”
It might be hard for fans to know there was a time, early in her career where she felt so vulnerable. But most of her work is somehow related to some part of her life. If this new comedy is anything like The Office and The Mindy Project, it’s sure to be a hit, even if she used an embarrassing part of her life as inspiration.
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