Mindy Kaling Q&A: ‘The Mindy Project’
The season two finale of "The Mindy Project" ended with a grand romantic gesture: Danny (Chris Messina) wooed Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling) atop the Empire State Building. And in our recent webcam chat, Kaling admitted, "I think our finale this year, 'Danny and Mindy,' was my favorite episode."
As she explained, "It wasn’t a Mindy point-of-view episode, so I got to do a lot of stuff that I don’t usually get to do. I wasn’t in the know; I wasn’t scheming for once. And as much has I love the schemey energy that Mindy has all the time, it was great just to be like pluckily go along and having everything surround me. That was a really fun thing to play that I hadn’t gotten to play."
As for being both series lead and head writer, she acknowledged, "It’s kind of amazing to have the job of writer/performer. It’s also good because you become better at one or the other things because you spend so much time with the other, if that makes sense. I am a so much better writer because I am on set all day with the actors and I know their cadences; and I’m so much of a better actor because I know where the characters are going. I know where it’s headed."
But going between the writer’s room and the set does mean missing out on a funny joke or two. "For sure there’s like some funny thing happening in the writers room or some fun things happening so set, and I get a little jealous."
She readily admits to being influenced by fans and critics. "I am someone who is, my personality even as a kid, a people pleaser and I’m addicted to feedback. If it’s praise or criticism, I think I have to just make a show that I would want to watch. Because what ultimately happens is if you make a show based on fear out of something that critics have said or something that fans like and it’s not true, in the end of the day if the show’s cancelled, you have a show that you can’t even say is your own show. If I stick to my vision, at least it was a show that I really believed in, and I won’t have regrets down the line.”
"The Mindy Project" recently reaped nominations for Best Comedy Series and for Kaling's performance at the TCA Awards. Will she be able to break through in the competitive Comedy Actress category at this year's Emmys?