Pixar’s latest film, “Inside Out,” has many questioning which emotions are at the helm of their mind headquarters. They’re not alone; Mindy Kaling grappled with the same question.
In the movie, Joy (Amy Poehler) is arguably the captain of 11-year old Riley’s emotional console with Fear (Bill Hader), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Anger (Lewis Black) and Disgust (Kaling) as her co-pilots.
While “Inside Out” focuses primarily on what’s going on inside Riley’s head, there are occasions where it bounces to the emotional headquarters of other characters in the film, like her mom and dad. In their adult years they have different emotions sitting in the pilot seat, which begs the question — which emotions are calling the shots in our own heads?
“I would say that I am largely ruled by Joy and Fear. Those would be the two that are jockeying to have the controls,” Kaling tells Zap2it.
In fact, Kaling admits that it’s Poehler and Hader’s renditions of the characters that now make up her inner monologue.
Stars including Julia Louis-Dreyfus and B.J. Novak gathered for a live storytelling charity event on Tuesday at the Santa Monica Bay Women’s Club to benefit educational non-profit 826LA’s 10th anniversary.
The Dave Eggers co-founded charity offers writing support to high school students, inspiring them to learn and grow with personal attention to their education.
The foundation partnered with a series popularized in the U.K. called Live Letters in which celebrities read humorous and inspiring letters written by notable subjects from throughout history. Tuesday’s event marked the first U.S. Live Letters event. The series was founded in part by some star power of its own — Benedict Cumberbatch’s production company, SunnyMarch.
Louis-Dreyfus exuded charisma reading what must be one of the most elegantly penned thank you letters called “The Matchbox sent from Sylvia Townsend Warner to fellow writer Alyse Gregory.” Novak read aloud two letters: one titled “We All Feel Like That Now and Then” and the other a bombastic tirade from Robert Crumb to Mats Gustafsson titled “Torturing the Saxophone.” He also put himself up for auction at the event — bidders could purchase him to entertain at their child’s birthday party.
Mindy Kaling agreed to voice a character in Pixar’s latest film based on nothing more than an illustration. But she didn’t even need that.
“They literally could have shown me nothing,” said Kaling, who plays a green, fluttery-lashed girl named Disgust in the new film “Inside Out.” She heard the word “Pixar,” and she was in.
The much-anticipated film explores the action inside 11-year-old Riley’s head, where Kaling’s character and other emotions — Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Sadness (Phyllis Smith) and Joy (Amy Poehler) — control operations. Joy generally reigns, keeping Riley happy, but things go amiss when her family moves from Minnesota to San Francisco. Riley’s team of emotions are thrown out of balance, and they have to work together to set things right.
Riley’s personality is represented by “islands” comprising the things most important to her, such as family, friendship and sports. Kaling said the film inspired her to reflect on her childhood experiences and consider what might be included among her own Islands of Personality.
Both Amy Poehler and Mindy Kaling voice emotions in Disney-Pixar’s Inside Out that cultivate personality islands in the mind of Riley, the young girl whose brain the film takes place in. During the L.A. press junket, the two actresses/writers/producers talked about how they nurture their personality islands through collaboration, important core memories, and resonating with young girls, who are inspired by their success as women in entertainment.
Q: Amy, I wanna ask you about sitting down with him (Pete Doctor), going through the script, and maybe making adjustments to certain things about it. What was that like to do that with Pixar?
Amy Poehler: It was awesome. I have a theory that with the exception of a few eccentric geniuses, I feel like most talented people are good collaborators, because they are not threatened by other people’s good ideas, because they have a million of them. It was awesome, and my fear was that Joy would get annoying, and apparently she was, because no one wanted to be her. That’s okay. That’s okay, but just tracking that, and making sure that she’s – you know what I mean. We talked a lot about that and pitched jokes, ways to walk that line where you weren’t like… she wasn’t driving you crazy.
Q: Mindy… and Amy if you might like to chime in. Of course, the movie is all about feelings and memories. What is a core memory that you have as performer or writer or producer?
Mindy Kaling: Sure. First, I’d just like to say that the idea of a core memory… if that’s something that Pete and Jonas and Ronnie in this movie named it, I didn’t know it (before). There are such things as core memories, and that’s what’s so enjoyable about the movie as you’re watching. You’re like, “Thank you for putting a name on that. Now I know.” For me, my core memory was that my mother who was my absolute best friend… she was an OB/GYN when I was very little. I would have that thing with my brothers, competitive about spending time with her alone, like one on one. That was so important to me, that no one would be around except the two of us.
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You know the drill: Whenever a Hollywood star talks about filming sex scenes for a movie or TV show, it’s generally accompanied by an eye roll and claims that it’s so weird and so awkward and there’s usually a giant dude with a camera hovering over you, gross.
Mindy Kaling, however, would like to tell you the truth: Filming sex scenes is actually awesome.
In a print preview of her upcoming book, called “Why Not Me?” and scheduled for release Sept. 29, Kaling features a chapter titled “I Love Sex Scenes!” where she details one of the best-kept secrets in showbiz. She quotes a few celebrities who complain about filming intimate scenes, from Justin Timberlake (“It’s actually kind of annoying”) to Mila Kunis (“The whole thing is just wrong”). But Kaling clears up the truth with some refreshing real talk.