Mindy Kaling

(Vera Mindy Chokalingam)

Mindy Kaling
Mindy Kaling
  • Born: June 24, 1979
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Actress, Comedian, Writer, Producer

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All I want to do is be a gay icon. I was reading Lady Gaga's twitter, because she has like 12 million followers, or something like that. I feel like she has fans, gay, straight, bi, who would throw themselves off a building for her.
Almost every college playwright or sketch or improv comedian was sort of aware of Christopher Durang - even kids in high school. His short plays were so accessible to younger people and I think that was inspirational to me.
Anybody can have a birthday. It requires nothing. Murderers have birthdays. It's the opposite of anything that I believe in. And I don't like at work where you stop everything to sing 'Happy Birthday' to someone. I feel like that's for children. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Anyone who's lost someone to cancer will say this, that you have to struggle to try to remember the person before the diagnosis happened, because they really do change - as anyone would change.
As a kid it's adorable to have a gap in your teeth. But then, because of the shifting in my mouth, I started whistling through it, and as a 32-year-old woman, whistling while you speak in sort of annoying.
As a kid, I always loved serialized books. It's the reason why people love 'Harry Potter.' Serialization is amazing. It works in television. It works in film and it works in books. Especially when you're a young kid, you get attached to these characters. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Catharsis isn't art. You can't rely on catharsis to get a laugh. Because guess what? People do laugh when something's shocking, but that is, to me, the absolute fakest of laughs. That's not something that sustains a television series, or a movie, or even 45 minutes of a stand-up set at Carolines. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Comedy writers have the most fragile egos.
Fast food is hugely important in the life of a comedy writer. All we do is order in, and what we're going to eat is hotly debated. Life ;Nutrition, Food, Starvation, Farming & Agriculture
Growing up, I remember my parents feeling a little wary of 'The Simpsons.' This was the late eighties, and there was a wave of articles about TV shows that were bad for America. Then we all started watching it and loved it.
I always knew I wanted kids, but when my mom passed away I was like, 'I want a bunch of kids. I want three kids or four kids, and I want to have that relationship again.' I can't bring my mom back, but I can have children.
I am a super-confident writer, and as a joke writer and as an actress, I'm like, 'I want to go head-to-head with every person.' I am an Indian woman and I'm a kind of double minority in this world.
I am always surprised at what movie studios think people will want to see. I'm even more surprised at how often they are correct.
I fall into that nebulous, quote-unquote, normal American woman size that legions of fashion stylists detest. For the record, I'm a size 8 - this week, anyway. Many stylists hate that size because I think to them, it shows that I lack the discipline to be an ascetic; or the confident, sassy abandon to be a total fatty hedonist.
I feel like if I had my personality but was an OB/GYN, you would be psyched. You'd be like, 'My chatty, pop-culture-interested but plainspoken, wants-to-talk-about-clothes but serious-minded doctor.' I feel like I would clean up with patients. That's kind of a cocky thing to say.
I feel like the high-concept shows that have some kind of gimmick tend not to be the hit classic shows of all time. Time
I feel lucky because I was a nerd, which I talk about in the book, but I had academic success, so through that, because that's what my parents put a great deal of value on, I had a great childhood because I sort of fulfilled the expectations of being good at school. Success
I had these kind of unrealistic expectations that were fueled by romantic comedies, and it has both helped me and hurt me in many ways. It helped me because, in general, they've made me hopeful. I just figure things will eventually work out for me. But nobody is like any Tom Hanks character. Nobody is Hugh Grant. No one is Meg Ryan! Romantic ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I hated L.A. for a long time, and I wanted to leave it. I had these fantasies of going to 'SNL' and falling in love with some writer on 'SNL,' of getting married and living in New York. Time ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I have a great job writing for 'The Office,' but, really, all television writers do is dream of one day writing movies. I'll put it this way: At the Oscars the most famous person in the room is, like, Angelina Jolie. At the Emmys the huge exciting celebrity is Bethenny Frankel. You get what I mean. Fame ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I have a thick skin, which comes from being a not-really-skinny, dark-skinned Indian woman. I haven't fit in every place, and so I'm kind of used to resistance.
I have an underdog spirit in me, and now it feels weird to kind of get my own way more often than not.
I have such a rich fantasy life, I can't help it. I do make up a lot of romantic stories in my head. Life ;Romantic
I just have my characters say my controversial opinions and then hide behind them.
I love talking about clothes with women; it's like a code because women dress for women. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Women
I love that 'Much Ado About Nothing,' passionate, smart fighting. I love fighting with guys, and that's something that I don't get to see: arguing at a high level with a member of the opposite sex. That didn't really happen that much on 'The Office.' I just like that 'Moonlighting,' Benedick-Beatrice type of thing. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I love 'The Office.' I'm in the premiere, and I'm maybe gonna shoot another episode this season, but I've been there since the very beginning, so when I found out this is the last year - I am a good Asian kid who was an A student - I wish I could be there to the end to see things through. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I must have been 10 or 11, but anything Dana Carvey ever did, I just really loved. He was on for a long time, I don't really know when that era was. I could watch Dana Carvey with my parents, they loved him too. They loved all his characters. Time
I never want to be called the funniest Indian female comedian that exists. I feel like I can go head-to-head with the best white, male comedy writers that are out there. Why would I want to self-categorize myself into a smaller group than I'm able to compete in?
I really love 'Bridget Jones's Diary' - and I love the book, too. You wonder how it ever got made into a movie. She's supposed to be chubby, and two of the hottest guys ever are straight-up fighting over her? Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I regard romantic comedies as a subgenre of sci-fi, in which the world operates according to different rules than my regular human world. Romantic
I think a lot of writers, male and female, write as if their parents were killed in a car accident when they were 2, and they have no one to hold accountable. And unfortunately, I don't have that. I have parents who I care about what they think.
I think as humans, no one remembers their successes, everyone just remembers their failures.
I try not to put anything political on the forefront of what I'm trying to do creatively. At the same time, I do think it's wonderful when I hear people say that it's inspirational that I'm an Indian woman on camera. My life is very diverse, and my friends are a diverse group of people. Life ;Time
I used to forget that I was an Indian woman. I would even forget that I was a woman. I don't think of myself as bringing to the table a lot of 'women's issues.' I don't feel the need to write about maternity. I grew up thinking that the talented people in comedy were hard-joke writers. Women
I want a schedule-keeping, waking-up-early, wallet-carrying, picture-hanging man. I don't care if he takes prescription drugs for cholesterol or hair loss.
I was always a silent comedy nerd. I would stay up late and sneak downstairs to watch 'Saturday Night Live' and 'Kids in the Hall,' and things like that. Very early on, my parents realized that I was not going to be an engineer or a doctor. I just don't have those inclinations, at all.
I was obsessed with being popular in high school and never achieved it. There's photos from our high school musicals, and I'm comically in the deep background, wearing a beggar's costume.
I went to Dartmouth College so simply by being an Indian-American woman, I was already so statistically interesting. And then the fact that I didn't want to do anything science-related, and I wanted to write comedy plays and act little bit - I mean, I became deeply interesting in college because of how rare that was.
I would love if gay men responded to me. All I want is for many gay men to dress up as me for Halloween. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I would love to be married. But it's not a necessity like the way that I feel I need and want to have children. It would be wonderful to have a husband, and I would feel blessed to do it. But I would feel sad for the rest of my life if I had no kids. Life ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I, like most women, I dress for other women, I think. If I was going to dress for men, I think in general I would be just wearing, like, a fitted black T-shirt and tight jeans every day. Women
If I could make a device where people could just intuit everything you are thinking - a little cable you plug into, like, a USB port, I would make a billion dollars.
If you've seen a photo of me from when I was a kid, I don't think anyone would have expected that going in front of the camera was something that I was going to do. I can't believe how little effort my parents put into making me seem like an appealing little girl.
I'm not good at anything except writing jokes. I wasn't good at sports, I wasn't good at anything artsy, ever. I think there was a real worry for a while about what I would be good at. I was just this chubby little Indian kid who looked like a nerd. Sports & Athletics
I'm not married, I frequently use my debit card to buy things that cost less than three dollars, and my bedroom is so untidy it looks like vandals ransacked the Anthropologie sale section. I'm kind of a mess.
I'm someone who loves romance. I always have loved it. Most people who grew up as nerds, as I was, surprisingly, have loved romance.
In terms of my Indianness, I try not to rely on it nor deny it. When it comes up organically in my writing, we can address it. About five years ago, we wrote this episode of 'The Office,' called 'Diwali,' which seemed like an organic way of using it.
It used to be that you had to make female TV characters perfect so no one would be offended by your 'portrayal' of women. Even when I started out on 'The Office' eight years ago, we could write our male characters funny and flawed, but not the women. And now, thankfully, it's completely different. Women ;Humor
It would be disingenuous of me to blanket-ly love everything a woman has produced simply to make a statement that we're all in this together. No. We're in Hollywood trying to be competitive, and get numbers, have our eyes on the Nielsens and things like that. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I've always assumed that my parents and my in-laws would live with me when I get older and have children. I just assume it will happen and that it's the right way to do things. It's a deeply Indian custom - that you kind of inherit your parents and your spouse's parents and you take care of them eventually.
Live performance really terrifies me. I haven't done it, really, in years. I think that's why I retired from my brief career in stand-up.
My dad's whole family is in Madras and I was born in America so we didn't have that big Indian community. I don't really have anything interesting to say about it. When I talk about it people are like, 'meh, let's talk about something else.' Families, Children & Parenting
My relationship with my mom is really the single most profound relationship that I've ever had in my life. Life
Not to be weird, but I still have an ongoing relationship with my mom, even though she passed away, and I've been surprised at how much I've been able to convey to her. Now I sound like a total weirdo, but that's true.
On 'The Office,' so much of the show is about disguising your true feelings and your romantic feelings because it was a mock documentary. Romantic
People don't want to listen to a celebrity tweeting about their charities and shows. That's why comedy writers do well - we put out little funny ideas. Humor
People take things at face value on social media. Earnestness is the assumption.
People talk about mumblecore but I prefer bumblecore, hyper-realistic bee movies about how bees really are. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Personally, I, Mindy Kaling want to spend like 80 percent of my life hanging out with women. Life ;Women
Right now, I'm hankering for new adventures... Ninety percent of the time I'm having romantic-comedy fantasies in which I'm wearing little pencil skirts and hurrying down to the subway. Time
Sometimes I eavesdrop on people. I could rationalize it - oh, this is good anthropological research for characters I'm writing - but it's basically just nosiness. It also helps me gauge where I'm at: Am I normal?
The funniest racism is the racism between minorities. It's something you don't see dramatized, but almost every minority I know who's my age, they have these funny stories about their parents stereotyping other minorities. Humor
The overlap in the Venn diagram of things that men hate for women to wear and the things that I love to wear, it's almost a full overlap on the Venn diagram, which is unfortunate for me. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Women
The Tweets that I have written that are most popular are the ones that are the kind of universal girly concerns and observations.
There's a female writer-performer thing going on in TV right now.
There's the psychotic ambitious side of myself that wants a fashion line and my own network and be like a combination of Oprah and Gwen Stefani. And have a perfume. Definitely a perfume.
Twitter is so short, it's safe. I don't want my bosses to be like, 'Hey, your script is due and we saw you wrote four blog pages.'
Twitter is the most amazing medium for a comedy writer. I can't get in every idea I want on the show no matter how hard I try to bully the other writers, so it's a way of me getting out other comic ideas and immediately getting feedback.
We always think of a diet with a big groan. But I think diets are fun. I think it is an American pastime for a lot of women. Women
What I'd really like to write is a romantic comedy. This is my favorite kind of movie. I feel almost embarrassed revealing this, because the genre has been so degraded in the past twenty years that saying you like romantic comedies is essentially an admission of mild stupidity. Romantic
When I was a little kid, I wrote this play about all these characters living in a haunted house. There was a witch who lived there, and a mummy. When they were all hassling him, this guy who bought the house - I can't believe I remember this - he said to them, 'Who's paying the mortgage on this haunted house?' I thought that was really funny. Humor
When men hear women want a commitment, they think it means commitment to a romantic relationship, but that's not it. It's a commitment to not floating around anymore. I want a guy who is entrenched in his own life. Entrenched is awesome. Life ;Women ;Romantic
When people call me either a girl crush or their best friend, like, the best friend they want, that's, to me, the best compliment anyone could ever give me.
Woody Allen is really the ultimate. I love that he believed in himself enough to do what he did. And I have that same feeling - that there's nobody that looks like me in movies, nobody would cast me as a romantic lead, but I want to do it and I feel confident that I can. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Romantic ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
You should never have to say hello or goodbye. Even at work sometimes, and I know this is very unpopular, is that if I'm going to work every single day, I don't think you should have to hug people hello every single day when you come to work. I saw you Monday! Work, Workers & The Labor Force

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