Mindy Kaling

Parade Interview: Mindy Kaling on Life, Celebrity…and the Downside

This Sunday, Parade visits Mindy Kaling, the force behind TV’s The Mindy Project, at her Los Angeles home. Although the currently single 34-year-old is working overtime as the creator, head writer, and star of her show, she takes a break to open up to the magazine about her design philosophy (“I’m a ‘more is more’ person”), her personal and family life, the attention paid to her appearance, and the downside of being the boss. Below, some excerpts from the interview:

On the importance of knowing how to cook:

“You go to someone’s house for a home-cooked meal and you think, ‘Oh, I get it—the most attractive you can be, male or female, is if you cook.’ If I had a boyfriend who cooked for me, that’d be it. I would never stray.”

On Fox green-lighting her show’s pilot on the same day her mother died of pancreatic cancer:

“It was like a gift from God or my mom. I think she was giving me something so I didn’t have to get crushed under the weight of my grief.”

On standing out in the white male-dominated comedy world:

“There are little Indian girls out there who look up to me, and I never want to belittle the honor of being an inspiration to them. But while I’m talking about why I’m so different, white male show runners get to talk about their art.”

On the attention paid to her appearance:

“I always get asked, ‘Where do you get your confidence?’ I think people are well meaning, but it’s pretty insulting. Because what it means to me is, ‘You, Mindy Kaling, have all the trappings of a very marginalized person. You’re not skinny, you’re not white, you’re a woman. Why on earth would you feel like you’re worth anything?’”

On having a TV show to produce and a staff to manage:

“I love being the boss, but it’s lonelier because you know that everyone at some point has huge complaints about you. And I like to be part of the gang, you know?”

See Mindy at Home! Go behind the scenes of Parade’s photo shoot with Mindy at her Spanish-style abode

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