Earlier this year, in her well-received Super Bowl ad for Nationwide, Mindy Kaling thought she might be invisible. Hardly. As one of Hollywood’s major creative forces, she’s never been more prolific.
The actress and writer—and cover star of Adweek’s Creative 100—voices the character Disgust in Inside Out, Disney/Pixar’s summer blockbuster that is already the year’s fourth highest grossing film, raking in $300 million and counting. Her critically acclaimed TV comedy The Mindy Project, which she created, writes and stars in, was snapped up by Hulu in May, shortly after Fox passed on it. It will return for Season 4 in September, right around the Sept. 15 release of her second book, Why Not Me? Besides Nationwide, the alum of NBC’s The Office also starred in a high-profile American Express campaign this year that celebrated her status as an “unlikely leading lady.”
Before diving into production on Season 4, Kaling talked with Adweek about the creative challenges of juggling so many projects and the family tragedy that drives her.
Adweek: When Fox didn’t pick up The Mindy Project, were you certain you’d find another home?
Kaling: I have always been an optimist. I refuse to create things under the assumption of failure. So I thought that the best thing for the story creatively was to end last season on a cliffhanger, and it’s a fun way to get people back. I knew in my heart for some foolhardy reason that we would be somewhere—and I ended up being right.
Will the show change at all on Hulu?
We want to keep the tone the same. But creatively, the episodes can be a little bit longer, which is good because we have such a funny cast and we can give more screen time to their characters.
Parents, family members and guests are invited to join their University of Delaware students for Parents and Family Weekend (PFW), a three-day celebration featuring multiple campuswide events to be held Oct. 23-25.
The PFW Comedy Show, an annual favorite, will feature B.J. Novak on Friday, Oct. 23, at 8 p.m. in the Bob Carpenter Center.
He has also performed at numerous colleges, theatres and comedy clubs in recent years, in addition to filming television features for Comedy Central, Late Night with Conan O’Brien and more.
Tickets for the show are $20 and will go on sale to UD parents and family members on Aug. 11 at the PFW website. If available, remaining tickets will go on sale to the general public on Oct. 1.
Details on all of the weekend’s activities will be available soon at the PFW website.
Like most teenagers, Kaitlyn Dias loves Pixar movies, worships Amy Poehler, and worries about getting approval from her friends and her mom. Unlike her peers, though, Dias’ days are spent a little differently — the 16-year-old stars in Pixar’s newest release, Inside Out, alongside Poehler (not to mention Mindy Kaling, Bill Hader, Phyllis Smith…), and spent the years leading up to the film’s release hiding the most exciting part of her life from those closest to her.
“I was able to to tell people that I was working on a Pixar movie, but, other than that, nothing,” Dias says, talking to Bustle. “But my friends, they were all really excited and they still are! They’ve been really supportive.”
No wonder: Inside Out, about the emotions staked out in an 11-year-old girl’s mind, is nothing less than a phenomenon, winning raves —and even Oscar talk — from critics while also demolishing box office records; since its release in mid-June, the movie has raked in an astounding $435 million worldwide, and won the spot for the biggest opening weekend for any original movie, animated or otherwise. The success is due in large part to the incredible work of its voice cast, from Poehler’s Joy to Kaling’s Disgust to, of course, Dias’ Riley, the preteen at the center of the film.
Independent bookstores in Southern California present the Southern California Independent Booksellers Awards every fall. This week, the organization announced the finalists in the running for its prizes in the categories of fiction, nonfiction, picture books, middle grade, young adult and the T. Jefferson Parker Mystery Award.
To be eligible for those awards, authors must be residents of Southern California. An additional prize, the Glenn Goldman Award for Art, Architecture & Photography, is named for the owner of Book Soup who died in 2009. To honor Goldman’s passion for art books, the prize is open to any author and artist.
Two boldface Hollywood authors appear on the list: B.J. Novak (“The Office”) for his children’s book, “The Book With No Pictures,” and producer Brian Grazer for his memoir, “A Curious Mind.”
The awards are to be presented at a publishing event open to Southern California Independent Booksellers Assn. members on Oct. 24.
Children’s picture book:
“The Farmer and the Clown” by Marla Frazee
“The Book With No Pictures” by B.J. Novak
“Ninja Bunny” by Jennifer Gray Olson (Dan Santat)
Mindy Kaling is glammed up in the August issue of W magazine. She’s featured in the issue’s list of “ones to watch” on television. Kaling tells W, of the main character on her show, “The Mindy Project,” “She’s one of the worst-behaved female leads in the history of television — and that’s something I’m proud of.” Other actors on W’s list include Gillian Anderson, Ashley Benson of “Pretty Little Liars,” and Jussie Smollett of “Empire.”
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.