Mindy Kaling — creator, star, executive producer and writer on Fox’s The Mindy Project – is living her childhood dream, albeit with backbreaking, endless days on set. Her big break into TV comedy came when she was the first woman hired — at 24 — as a writer on NBC’s The Office. She’s now the first and only woman of color to run and star in her own network show. With these firsts has come great responsibilities, some of which Kaling bristles against, such as viewers’ demands that her Indian-American character date more ethnically diverse men on the show. She can’t make everyone happy, but Fox certainly is. Despite middling ratings, the critically well-received show was renewed for a third season.
AWARDSLINE: What would you say were the biggest differences between Season 1 and Season 2?
MINDY KALING: We try every season for there to be certain scenes and journeys that each of the characters go on, certainly the leads. But it’s harder because, unlike a cable show, we have 22 or 24 episodes a year so we can’t do that wonderful thing I’ll see on some of my favorite cable shows where they’ll have 12 episodes to do a full arc that in the course of two and a half months is done. Our journeys have to be longer, so usually what we do is set up a couple of different arcs, which is something I learned on The Office. The single biggest difference is that you just know the characters more this year.
When THE MINDY PROJECT cast and creative team had their PaleyFest panel earlier this year, it seemed like Danny and Mindy were finally going to move forward with their relationship. And while they did take that step, the duo also quickly broke up, and it took until the comedy’s second season finale for Danny and Mindy to fully commit to being all in on their romantic relationship.
But it’s never a completely easy decision to make the decision to pair up a will they/won’t they couple, a fact that THE MINDY PROJECT creator/star Mindy Kaling (Mindy) pointed out during Fox’s Girls’ Night Out panel earlier in the week.
“It’s just delicious; ‘won’t they’ is delicious,” Kaling said. ” And ‘will they,’ is something you’ve seen. And longing is just so much more entertaining. And you can relate to that more than a person who just has a girlfriend or boyfriend; who cares about happy people? It’s the underdogs you like.”
“The good news is so many of my favorite shows, I LOVE LUCY, MODERN FAMILY, are doing very funny and very relatable comedy that couples [who are together] have,” she continued. “So we have a lot of great predecessors. Those are great shows, obviously.”
And while Kaling admittedly enjoyed the journey, she also acknowledged that the relationship between Mindy and Danny reached a point where it became difficult to justify them not being together.
“In fact, it was more challenging to not keep them together,” she said. “[Chris Messina (Danny)] smolders on sight. He has a supernatural ability to smolder. And he had to do this dance for my character as a Christmas present — which is so unbelievably romantic — that at a certain point, it’s just like, ‘Go to him.’ And I play that character [as well as write her]. It just felt like it was time.”
Actress MINDY KALING is working on another memoir – her second in three years.
The former The Office star is writing a new book titled Why Not Me?, a sequel to 2011 bestseller Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (and Other Concerns).
The Emmy nominee, who now stars and executive produces her own sitcom, The Mindy Project, is keen to share stories about the last few years of her life with fans.
She says, “So much has happened between the time I published my first book and now. The show; my mother passed away; so many of my friends have gotten married. I’m a godmother now, and a homeowner. There’s so much that has happened in that period of time that I wanted to write another book.”
The title “Girls Night Out” was a fitting name for the panel that Fox held at the Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre in North Hollywood on Monday, as some of the net’s most prominent female figures turned up to talk their career beginnings, their shows and the challenges that come with working in the industry.
Mindy Kaling (“The Mindy Project”), Jane Lynch (“Glee”) Chelsea Peretti (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”), Alex Borstein (“Family Guy”), Yeardley Smith (“The Simpsons”), Liz Meriwether (“New Girl”) and Heather Kadin (“Sleepy Hollow”) were all in attendance at the panel. Lynch was sure to tease the audience with some info about “Glee’s” final season.
The Emmy winner said that they hope the last handful of “Glee” episodes all carry a very strong message with them, and even revealed they might get “some of the old kids back” to close out the show. She grew somber, however, when asked about Cory Monteith, who played Finn on the show and died last July.
“In the choir room, we have a photograph of Finn with one of the funny lines that he said,” Lynch said. “So we see him every day. I think he had such a big part in why this show is such a hit and it’s really, really difficult. Everybody gets through it in their own way, but there is a huge gaping hole in the show.”
Still, Lynch emphasized her excitement to do the sixth and final season of the show.
While there was talk of “Glee’s” end, Kaling had plenty to say about “The Mindy Project’s” beginning. The first season of the sitcom is considered by many to not be up to par with the most recent seasons — similar to “The Office,” another hit comedy Kaling was in — and when that was mentioned, the comedian stood up for the show’s beginnings.
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