Mindy Kaling Breaks Down Her Best Twitter Moments - Rolling Stone
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Mindy Kaling Breaks Down Her Best Twitter Moments

Star of ‘The Mindy Project’ revisits some of her best offscreen punchlines

Mindy KalingMindy Kaling

Mindy Kaling

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Multitasking champion Mindy Kaling, famous as a writer/performer on The Office (where she played the vapid Kelly) and as the bestselling author of Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, is now the creator of the charming sitcom The Mindy Project, in which she stars as a ob/gyn who has trouble telling the difference between romantic comedies and real life.

Kaling is also the author of one of the world’s most entertaining Twitter feeds, followed by over 1.8 million people. “It’s just for fun,” she cautions – yet she consented to explain the stories behind some of her tweets.

Rob Sheffield’s 2012 Fall TV Preview

That was in that hazy two-week period when I was smitten by every guy in The Avengers. You move on. Crushes evolve. The Joseph Gordon-Levitt bike-messenger movie comes out, and that’s a distraction.

I went back to shoot an episode of The Office, and it didn’t explain why I was gone, but I was curious. When I was in junior high school, two kids had mono and they got to not come to school for eight months – that’s the length of a season of television. Getting mono was a total dream when I was in seventh grade.

I realized that I could pick anyone I wanted to be a writer on the show, so long as they didn’t have a criminal record. I love the staff. Nobody’s on drugs, nobody’s fighting, nobody’s having an affair. They’re cheerful and cool, and just the tiniest bit snobby.

We had our mandatory sexual harassment training session – I’ve had one every year since I started on The Office, so I guess that was my ninth. It’s about 90 minutes long, but it can extend to three or four hours if every immature comedy writer in the room decides to make lame observational jokes during this poor attorney’s spiel. It’s low-hanging fruit for a comedy writer, so I was very happy they resisted.

My show is produced by Universal, so they show clips of inappropriate behavior from different Universal shows. It’s basically a greatest hits of Michael Scott’s gaffes – for people who work on The Office who attend a sexual harassment training seminar, you get to see lots of your favorite scripted moments that you personally were involved in.

I leave before it’s light out and I get home when it’s dark. I don’t live in some gated complex, I have a vivid imagination, and I just scare myself all the time. I love true crime – I think a lot of writers are into the specificity of the details of grisly crimes. It’s so different from the world I know, which is a very comfortable, safe writer’s room.

For most Americans who don’t know what a slug line is, it’s the line at the beginning of the scene that sets up where the action takes place. It requires barely any creativity and it seems like you’ve accomplished something.

When you’re a producer on a show, you get into this vortex of clearances: you realize that any reference to anything recognizable requires a 20-minute conversation with a corporate attorney. Sometimes you’re like, “Can the sun be in this frame of TV or do we have to clear it through the sun’s attorney?” I’m not the sort of person that the paparazzi follow around, but I always wondered why people didn’t sing a song that would cost $200,000 for a second of showing it.

After that tweet, I got dozens of texts from different people that I knew saying, “Wait, were you talking about me?” It hit too close to home for some of my friends.

I have no musical talent, in any department, but I love the subject matter of a lot of R&B songs – in the past five years they’ve gotten very meta and self-aware. I like when R&B songwriters are thinking in terms of the person who might be tangentially affected by a sexy situation, and I’m constantly thinking about songs that I could write in my terrible second career as an R&B artist.

In This Article: Mindy Kaling


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