Mindy Kaling is an American actress, comedian, writer and producer.
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Hey Reddit, it's Mindy!
Have to say, I’m super excited for your questions!
You can ask me anything about my new book WHY NOT ME? (which is a #1 New York Times bestseller!!) or about THE MINDY PROJECT, or whatever else you want to talk about!
I'll be back at 1:30PM EST to start answering, so we can do this!
EDIT: I forgot to say BYE! Ok bye guys, I had a really fun time doing this. It was amazing. So many questions I could not get to, but I'll be back! Thanks for all the support! YOU ARE AWESOME!
I only have one question for you:
How dare you?
hahaha well played, friend.
Mindy, I'm a 19 year old girl who is really struggling lately and you have truly been a role model and inspiration to me. From watching you as Kelly Kapoor on The Office (and literally loving every episode you ever wrote) to Mindy Lahiri on the Mindy Project, to reading your books and watching interviews I creepily feel like you're one of my besties and I just wanna let you know that your sense of humor and words of wisdom have really helped me get through a lot.
My question for you is: What was your biggest struggle during your late teens and early twenties and what little things/thoughts comforted you as you got through it?
Hopefully this doesn't get buried, but if you do read this, Mindy, I really can't thank you enough for being such an incredible role model to me.
Hi! That is so nice. Wow, thank you. My teens and twenties were really challenging. TV and film wasnt like it is now, where you could turn on the TV and there's a reasonable expectation that you could see people that bore resemblance to me. So I had to dream in a vacuum. I was never, ever, ever skinny, and therefore never considered "pretty", even though I loved clothes and makeup and dressing up. That was really hard in middle school and high school. I was always comforted by this strange little fire inside of me that when I got older things would not be like that. Some comfort, huh? It should be noted that I was a very focused, odd kid. I hope this was helpful! And I hope you get everything you want.
Was Kelly's "fashion show at lunch" song improvised or scripted? Hands down one of my favorite little moments of yours in The Office. Such a hilarious character.
This line, probably my most quoted lines ever, is 100% Paul Lieberstein.
"What about if I tell you the things I don't want?" "Ok get off, get off."
What is the worst date you've ever been on?
The worst date I've ever been on was with a guy who I was super excited about, really attracted to, and then on the date it became apparent that it WASNT a date. He was just a straight dude who was psyched to have dinner with me in a platonic way. He talked about an actress he really wanted to date and we split the check. Thus is dating in Los Angeles.
Hey Mindy! What scene from The Office was hardest to get through without laughing?
The Christmas episode where Michael asked Kevin to sit on his lap, and Steve had to pretend to be crushed under his weight. I think I'm laughing on camera.
Hi Mindy! What's the probability of a Broad City/Mindy Project crossover?
I love Ilana and Abbi. Nothing would make me happier than if Mindy was their gynecologist. Like, they found her on a Groupon.
Did you cry when you watched Inside Out?
Yeah. Bing Bong kills me. I've seen in four times and cried each time when Bing Bong whispers to Joy: "I have a good feeling about this one." K, I'm going to start to cry now just quoting it.
Hello!!! In an episode of The Mindy Project you once said you always run out of shampoo before conditioner. I have literally never run out of shampoo before conditioner....So do you really run out of shampoo before conditioner???
I do! I guess I really suds the hell out of my hair? I have the same conditioner from like 2004. Is my hair too dry? Help!
What is your favorite episode of Master of None?
The second one, with Aziz's real parents is probably my favorite. I love those two people so much. Also, Aziz interacting with them makes me fall in love with him a little. Like when he programmed his dad's iPad for him. Swoon.
Who / what was your biggest inspiration for The Mindy Project?
By the way, I love that damn show so much. Thank you.
Probably Pride & Prejudice and South Park? Bridge Jones a little. And of course I was inspired by the jokes-per-minute pace of The Office, since that's where I worked for eight years.
Which Disney Princess do you think you are most like?
I am no princess. I am Ursula the Sea Witch.
I read that you watched The X-Files as a child in your first book, I think, so: are you excited for the revival?
Super excited. I was ADDICTED to X-Files. Their episode "Home" is the scariest hour of television I've ever watched. Then I saw Gillian Anderson (G-Money, as I call her) on The Fall, and man, I loved that too. So I'm really excited. I hope Mulder and Scully do it.
Will Adam Pally ever return to The Mindy Project again? If not can you guys at least place a life-size cardboard cutout of him in the background of every scene in his memory?
If you like Adam Pally on The Mindy Project, you are going to love Tuesday's episode. It's all me and Peter all the time.
In your book, you mention that your ideal dinner guest would bring you hot sauce. What is your go-to hot sauce, one which you would want to carry in your purse for emergencies?
Thanks for answering our questions, Mindy!
Great question. Used to be Sambal Oelek, lately, Cholula. My writer David Stassen got me hooked.
Hi Mindy! Who would you say is your biggest influence in your acting career?
Emma Thompson. Writer performers, in general.
The chemistry between you and Chris Messina is something powerful. Does this mean y'all are close friends in real life?
Thank you! I love Chris. He's the definition of a generous actor. Our scenes are always the easiest to shoot because it feels effortless with him.
Hi Mindy! Can your describe what working with Salvador Perez is like and what a day of fittings entails? All the fashion in TMP is such eye candy!
Sal is a wonderful genius who also calls me "Spoiled Princess from Hell". We are super collaborative.
I just want to know, how do you feel about the "feminist" label? Do you identify with that yourself?
p.s. I <3 you, you are amazing!
Yup! (and thank you!)
How do you feel about The Mindy Project being moved to Hulu? I'm a huge fan!
The show on Hulu has let the writers and cast create the best version of it. The creative freedom has allowed us to let moments breathe that we couldn't before, and tell stories that are closer to what I want to be telling. Craig, Mike, and our creative execs Brendan and Jessica have been terrific partners. I know saying "terrific partners" sounds like I'm a robot programmed to say lame banalities, but it's true!
Do you still have that vibrating cushion with Oscar Isaac's face on it? Please tell me you do.
This was one of my favorite visual jokes we did. My staff all think Oscar Isaac is super sexy, and we want this to be more of a pervasive opinion with the American public. I bet he thinks it's creepy as hell. But such is fame.
Why did you join Joseph Gordon Levitt on HitRECord TV?
Jogo (a nickname he detests and wishes I wouldn't use), asked if I would write and perform something for his show. And I was psyched to do something a little stranger than I have been doing. Then I realized that both Chris and Jogo are great dancers, and the idea came sprang from those resources. I love HitRecord, and I love our short that we did.
Stassen is a good twitter follow
Who makes you laugh harder than anyone else?
Chris Farley as Matt Foley, inspirational speaker.
Do you often find it difficult being autentic to yourself while being a public figure? I mean this in the sense of the way you express yourself and also in the way you present yourself- do you find yourself having to think about how your opinion will affect the public the public that listens to you?
I don't have too much trouble being myself in public. The only side of me that I try to suppress is my impatient side. I'm terribly, terribly impatient.
If any four people - fictional, real, alive, dead - could be in your entourage, who would you pick?
Whoa. Robert Downey Jr, Lupita Nyongo, Gilda Radner, Ronda Rousey
Follow-up: What does Ike Barinholtz smell like?
Ike smells like Chicago-style hot dogs. And cocaine. And, if we're being totally honest, a little semen-y. (his own semen)
What is your favorite episode of The Mindy Project? Why?
I love an episode from season two called "Danny Castellano is my Personal Trainer". It was just so funny and body-positive. Also there is an owl in it.
You have had a lot of amazing guests star on your show (James Franco, Chloe Sevigny, Ellie Kemper are probably my favourites, but the list goes on and on..) That being said, who are the top 3 people on your Mindy Project guest star bucket list?
Danny McBride, Idris Elba, Reese
What's your dream franchise to star in?
I want to be a Marvel character so bad. An evil one who hangs with Magneto.
Hi Mindy, I love you, my question is will you be expanding your book tour to the midwest (Chicago)? I know you are super busy with The Mindy Project, but you have lots of fans in the middle of the country that would love to meet you. I swear Chicago is cool. I've traveled to see you before at Paleyfest, but my travel budget is smaller than yours so could you head this way?
I LOVE CHICAGO. I secretly think I will meet my husband at O'Hare airport. My dream is to do an event there for the book and bring Ike Barinholtz with me and then eat at various Chicago hotspots until we die. Our bloated bodies will wash ashore of Lake Michigan.
Hi Mindy -
What's your average day like?
And also, what would you put in your ideal burrito?
ideal burrito: scrambled egg whites, melted cheese, black beans, sour cream, guacamole. NO RICE. NO RICE IN BURRITOS EVER!
I came to your Boston Q&A & signing from Montreal (greatest trip ever you were amazing ilysm) & at the signing you mentioned you were working on a movie that you wanted to direct (which sounds like my new favourite movie) - can you give us some scoop on what it's about?
Do you think you'll ever publish a novel, like one that completes the Mindy & Sam story!?
What is a question about the book or the show that you wish you got asked more instead of the usual cliché "women" questions
Ok bye I love you
Thank you so much! I LOVED writing the short epistolary piece about Mindy and Sam! It would be a dream to write a little novel about them. I can so picture them in my head.
If you were given unlimited funds to do any project (book, film, television series) with no risk, what would you do?
I would love to play Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, but I'm not sure any mainstream organization would sponsor that. So that would be the thing I would do with unlimited money.
What has been the hardest scene to get through without breaking on this season of The Mindy Project?
We did a scene recently where Danny and Mindy invite everyone to their engagement party, and Chris and I could NOT stop laughing at Collette (Fortune Feimster). We were trying to delicately remind people it was a classy party and that people were expected to dress well, a little pointedly at her. And Collette was just not understanding it. Fortune's amazingly funny.
Hi Mindy! Thanks for doing this and for being so amazing in general. I was listening to the Hamilton Soundtrack (have you listened to it? I think it's something both Mindy and Danny would enjoy a lot and I'd write fanfiction about them seeing the play if I could... ok, not the point, sorry) and there's a verse about legacy, so I was wondering about this and I would like to ask what would you like The Mindy Project's legacy to be?
I am so excited about Hamilton. Tommy Kail, who directed it, is an old friend of mine from New York who is insanely talented and great. It's such a phenomenon that we were going to do a story about it on the show. Basically Morgan finds a Hamilton playbill in the trash and someone sees him holding it and suddenly he becomes very high status. So this Hamilton playbill becomes his most prized possession because everyone thinks he's this classy, tuned-in, rich art-loving guy. Then he loses it and he goes back to his regular life. Flowers For Algernon but with a Hamilton playbill basically.
Hi Mindy! What's been your favorite episode (aired or upcoming) to shoot this season. Any specific scene(s) that stood out?
Episode 13, the last of the Fall group, is fantastic. It's an episode we have been wanting to do for a long time. it's kind of an origins story.