On Thursday, Mindy Kaling sat down with Good Morning, America and discussed that one time one of her co-workers on The Office made her feel terrible about her body.
When she was 25 years old, and working as both writer and actor on The Office, one of her co-stars made a suggestion for a fun “joke”: that their character should suggest that her character, Kelly Kapoor, drop 15 pounds. “This is my greatest insecurity and someone just called it out,” she said on Thursday. “It’s really devastating.”
This shitty joke and relatively painful experience is one that Kaling carried with her throughout her other creative endeavors. “I had a reckoning where I’m like, ‘People are scrutinizing [me], and not only are they scrutinizing [me], they’re verbalizing their displeasure with how I look because I don’t look a certain way,” she said. “That kind of dissonance has really affected so much of what I write about [and] the kind of characters I play.” This is clearly evidenced in the clip above, where Chris Messina’s character on The Mindy Project suggests the very same thing to Kaling’s character, but is met with the indignation and anger that it deserves.
Kaling also discussed her most recent work, the Netflix show Never Have I Ever, which is a delightful little teen comedy that is likely meant for children, but is also great for adults (hello). Devi, played by Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, is precisely the sort of character Kaling wanted to see on TV when she was growing up—a “dark-skinned Indian girl” who gets to be the main character. “She’s real, and she dates and boys like her, boys hate her, she goes in and out of drama, fights with her friends, but she’s normal and she’s the point of view character and so you can look to that and feel seen, to use a phrase that people much younger than me use,” Kaling said.
What’s the lesson here, if any? Don’t say things about other people’s bodies! Also, watch Never Have I Ever, it’s very cute, it might make you cry if the wind is blowing right, and also, Paxton Hall-Yoshida forever. [People]
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- Lil Nas X is happy in his new relationship and that is genuinely nice to hear. [People]