Mindy Kaling

Last updated
Mindy Kaling
Mindy Kaling at PaleyFest 2013 (cropped).jpg
Kaling at Paleyfest in 2013
Born
Vera Mindy Chokalingam

(1979-06-24) June 24, 1979 (age 39)
Residence West Hollywood, California, U.S.
Education Buckingham Browne & Nichols
Alma mater Dartmouth College
OccupationActress, comedian, writer, producer
Years active2002–present
Home town Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Children1
Comedy career
MediumStand-up, television, film, books
Genres satire, improvisational comedy, sketch comedy, stand-up comedy
Subject(s) American culture, pop culture
Website theconcernsofmindykaling.com

Vera Mindy Chokalingam [1] (born June 24, 1979), [1] known professionally as Mindy Kaling, is an American actress, comedian, writer, and producer. From 2005 to 2013, she played Kelly Kapoor in the NBC sitcom The Office . In addition to acting in it, she was a writer, executive producer, and occasional director. [2] Recognition for her work on The Office include a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series in 2010.

Kelly Kapoor

Kelly Rajanigandha Kapoor is a fictional character from the US television series The Office. She is played by Mindy Kaling, who was also a writer and producer for the show.

NBC American television and radio network

The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American English-language commercial terrestrial television network that is a flagship property of NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast. The network is headquartered at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, with additional major offices near Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia. The network is one of the Big Three television networks. NBC is sometimes referred to as the "Peacock Network", in reference to its stylized peacock logo, introduced in 1956 to promote the company's innovations in early color broadcasting. It became the network's official emblem in 1979.

The Office is an American television sitcom that aired on NBC from March 24, 2005, to May 16, 2013, lasting nine seasons. It is an adaptation of the original BBC series of the same name and was adapted for American television by Greg Daniels, a veteran writer for Saturday Night Live, King of the Hill, and The Simpsons. It was co-produced by Daniels' Deedle-Dee Productions, and Reveille Productions, in association with Universal Television. The original executive producers were Greg Daniels, Howard Klein, Ben Silverman, Ricky Gervais, and Stephen Merchant, with numerous others being promoted in later seasons.

Contents

Kaling gained wider attention for creating, writing, producing and starring in the Fox/Hulu comedy series The Mindy Project (2012–2017). She was the co-creator, writer, and producer of the NBC sitcom Champions (2018), in which she also had a recurring role. [3] Kaling's film career includes voice work in the films Despicable Me (2010), Wreck It Ralph (2012), and Inside Out (2015); and starring roles in the comedy The Night Before (2015), the fantasy adventure A Wrinkle in Time , the heist-comedy Ocean's 8 (both 2018), and the comedy Late Night (2019).

Fox Broadcasting Company American television network

The Fox Broadcasting Company is an American commercial terrestrial television network that is a flagship property of Fox Corporation. The network is headquartered at the Fox Broadcasting Center in New York City, with additional offices at the Fox Television Center in Los Angeles.

Hulu American provider of on-demand Internet streaming media

Hulu is an American entertainment company that provides "over-the-top media services". It is primarily oriented towards instant streaming of television series, carrying current and past episodes of many series from its owners' respective television networks and other content partners. Hulu is owned by Hulu LLC, a joint venture with The Walt Disney Company, Comcast, and AT&T. Through the acquisition of 21st Century Fox, Disney acquired Fox's partial ownership, giving it a majority stake when the deal closed on March 20, 2019.

<i>The Mindy Project</i> American romantic comedy television series

The Mindy Project is an American romantic comedy television series that premiered on Fox on September 25, 2012. It then began airing on Hulu on September 15, 2015. The series, created by and starring Mindy Kaling, was co-produced by Universal Television and 3 Arts Entertainment.

In addition to her work in film and television, Kaling has written two New York Times best-selling memoirs, titled Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) (2011) and Why Not Me? (2015). [4]

The New York Times Best Seller list is widely considered the preeminent list of best-selling books in the United States. Published weekly in The New York Times Book Review, the best-seller list has been published in the Times since October 12, 1931. In recent years it has evolved into multiple lists in different categories, broken down by fiction and non-fiction, hardcover, paperback, and electronic, and different genres.

Memoir type of autobiographical or biographical writing

A memoir is a collection of memories that an individual writes about moments or events, both public or private, that took place in the subject's life. The assertions made in the work are understood to be factual. While memoir has historically been defined as a subcategory of biography or autobiography since the late 20th century, the genre is differentiated in form, presenting a narrowed focus. A biography or autobiography tells the story "of a life", while a memoir often tells a story "from a life", such as touchstone events and turning points from the author's life. The author of a memoir may be referred to as a memoirist or a memorialist.

Early life

Vera Mindy Chokalingam was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to father Avu Chokalingam, an architect, and mother Swati Chokalingam, an obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN). [5] [6] Kaling's parents are from India, [7] and met while working at the same hospital in Nigeria. Her father, of Tamil heritage, [8] [9] was overseeing the building of a wing of the hospital, and her mother, a Bengali, [8] [9] was working as an OB/GYN. [10]

Cambridge, Massachusetts City in Massachusetts, United States

Cambridge is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, and part of the Boston metropolitan area.

Architect person trained to plan and design buildings, and oversee their construction

An architect is a person who plans, designs and reviews the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with the design of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the buildings that have human occupancy or use as their principal purpose. Etymologically, architect derives from the Latin architectus, which derives from the Greek, i.e., chief builder.

Obstetrics and gynaecology is the medical specialty that encompasses the two subspecialties of obstetrics and gynaecology.

The family immigrated to the United States in 1979, the same year Kaling was born. [2] Kaling's mother died of pancreatic cancer in 2012. [11] [12] [13] Kaling has one sibling, a brother, Vijay Jojo Chokal-Ingam, who works as an educational consultant.

Pancreatic cancer endocrine gland cancer located in the pancreas

Pancreatic cancer arises when cells in the pancreas, a glandular organ behind the stomach, begin to multiply out of control and form a mass. These cancerous cells have the ability to invade other parts of the body. There are a number of types of pancreatic cancer. The most common, pancreatic adenocarcinoma, accounts for about 85% of cases, and the term "pancreatic cancer" is sometimes used to refer only to that type. These adenocarcinomas start within the part of the pancreas which makes digestive enzymes. Several other types of cancer, which collectively represent the majority of the non-adenocarcinomas, can also arise from these cells. One to two percent of cases of pancreatic cancer are neuroendocrine tumors, which arise from the hormone-producing cells of the pancreas. These are generally less aggressive than pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

Kaling has said she has never been called Vera, her first name, [14] but has been referred to as Mindy since her mother was pregnant with her while her parents were living in Nigeria. They were already planning to move to the United States and wanted, Kaling said, a "cute American name" for their daughter, and liked the name Mindy from the TV show Mork & Mindy . The name Vera is, according to Kaling, the name of the "incarnation of a Hindu goddess." [14] Kaling graduated from Buckingham Browne & Nichols, a private school in Cambridge, in 1997. The following year, she entered Dartmouth College, where she was a member of the improvisational comedy troupe The Dog Day Players and the a cappella group The Rockapellas, was the creator of the comic strip Badly Drawn Girl in The Dartmouth (the college's daily newspaper), and was a writer for the Dartmouth Jack-O-Lantern (the college's humor magazine).[ citation needed ]

Nigeria Federal republic in West Africa

Nigeria, officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal republic in West Africa, bordering Niger in the north, Chad in the northeast, Cameroon in the east, and Benin in the west. Its coast in the south is located on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean. The federation comprises 36 states and 1 Federal Capital Territory, where the capital, Abuja, is located. The constitution defines Nigeria as a democratic secular country.

<i>Mork & Mindy</i> TV series

Mork & Mindy is an American sitcom that aired on ABC from September 14, 1978 to May 27, 1982. A spin-off after a highly successful episode of Happy Days, it starred Robin Williams as Mork, an extraterrestrial who comes to Earth from the planet Ork in a small, one-Orkan egg-shaped spaceship. Pam Dawber co-starred as Mindy McConnell, his human friend and roommate, and later his wife and the mother of his child.

Buckingham Browne & Nichols School school

Buckingham Browne & Nichols School, often referred to as BB&N, is an independent co-educational day school in Cambridge, Massachusetts, educating students from pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. BB&N is regularly ranked among the top independent schools in the United States. The School has produced three of the 27 Presidential Scholars from Massachusetts since the inception of the program in 1964 and is a member of the G20 Schools group and the Round Square global education association. BB&N includes six Rhodes Scholars among its graduates.

Kaling graduated from Dartmouth in 2001 [15] with a bachelor's degree in playwriting. [16] She was a classics major for much of college and studied Latin, a subject she has been learning since the seventh grade. [10]

Career

While a 19-year-old sophomore at Dartmouth, Kaling was an intern on Late Night with Conan O'Brien . [17] Kaling said she was a terrible intern, "less of a 'make copies' intern and more of a 'stalk Conan' intern." [17] Kaling has said that she never saw a family like hers on TV, which gave her a dual perspective she uses in her writing. [18] She thinks the "everyone against me mentality" is what she learned as a child of immigrants. [18] She named her Mindy Project character Mindy Lahiri after author Jhumpa Lahiri. [19]

After college, Kaling moved to Brooklyn, New York. [2] Kaling said one of her worst job experiences was as a production assistant for three months on the Crossing Over With John Edward psychic show. [14] She described it as "depressing." [20] During this same time, Kaling performed stand-up comedy. [18]

Mindy Kaling (cropped).png

Kaling devised her stage name after discovering while doing stand-up comedy that emcees would have trouble pronouncing her last name, Chokalingam, and sometimes made jokes about it. [18] She toured solo as well as with Craig Robinson before he was on The Office. [10]

In August 2002, Kaling portrayed Ben Affleck in an off-Broadway play called Matt & Ben, [21] which she co-wrote with her best friend from college, Brenda Withers—who played Matt Damon. The play was named one of Time magazine's "Top Ten Theatrical Events of The Year" and was "a surprise hit" at the 2002 New York International Fringe Festival. [2] Initially, Withers and Kaling had, "for their own entertainment, mockingly pretended to be the best friends Matt Damon and Ben Affleck; that pretending spawned Matt & Ben, the goofy play that reimagined how Damon and Affleck came to write the movie Good Will Hunting ." [2]

Kaling wrote a blog, Things I've Bought That I Love, [2] which reemerged on her website on September 29, 2011. [22] The blog was written under the name Mindy Ephron, "a name Kaling chose because she was amused by the idea of her 20-something Indian-American self as a long-lost Ephron sister." [2]

The Office

Kaling in 2008 MindyKaling08.jpg
Kaling in 2008

In 2004, when The Office producer Greg Daniels was working to adapt The Office from the BBC TV series of the same name, he hired Kaling as a writer-performer after reading a spec script she wrote. He said, "She's very original ... If anything feels phony or lazy or passé, she’ll pounce on it." [2]

When Kaling joined The Office, she was 24 years old and was the only woman on a staff of eight. [2] She took on the role of character Kelly Kapoor, debuting in the series’s second episode, "Diversity Day." [16]

In a 2007 interview with The A.V. Club , she stated that Kelly is "an exaggerated version of what I think the upper-level writers believe my personality is." [20]

Kaling directed The Office webisode The 3rd Floor. [23] She directed the Season 6 episode titled "Body Language," which marked her television directorial debut. Her contract was set to expire at the end of Season 7. On September 15, 2011, she signed a new contract to stay with the show for Season 8 and was promoted to full executive producer. [24] Her Universal Television contract included a development deal for a new show (eventually titled The Mindy Project), in which she appears as an actress and contributes as a writer. [2]

Kaling and her fellow writers and producers of The Office were nominated five consecutive times for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series. In 2010, she received a nomination for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series with Daniels for the episode, "Niagara." [25]

The Mindy Project

Kaling in 2009 Mindy Kaling 2009 1.jpg
Kaling in 2009

In 2012, Kaling pitched a single-camera comedy [26] to Fox called The Mindy Project, which Kaling wrote and produced. [27] Fox began airing the series in 2012.

Kaling notes that she is sometimes described as a pioneer, as there are not yet very many Indian-American women on television. [28] Fox canceled the series in May 2015 but it was later picked up by Hulu for a 26-episode fourth season and a 16-episode fifth season. In March 2017, Kaling announced that the show's sixth season, which would air starting September 2017, would be the last. [29] The series concluded on November 14, 2017.

Other work

Acting

Kaling's TV appearances include a 2005 episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm , playing Richard Lewis's assistant. She is featured on the CD Comedy Death-Ray and guest-wrote parts of an episode of Saturday Night Live in April 2006. [16] [20]

After her film debut in The 40-Year-Old Virgin with Steve Carell, Kaling appeared in the film Unaccompanied Minors as a waitress. In 2007, she held a small part in License to Wed starring fellow The Office actors John Krasinski, Angela Kinsey, and Brian Baumgartner. Kaling starred in the 2009 film Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian as a Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum tour guide and voiced Taffyta Muttonfudge in Disney's animated comedy film Wreck-It Ralph and Disgust in Pixar's 2015 film Inside Out . In 2011, she played the role of Shira, a doctor who is a roommate and colleague of the main character Emma (played by Natalie Portman) in No Strings Attached . Kaling also made an appearance as Vanetha in The Five-Year Engagement in 2012.

In 2017, NBC ordered Champions, where Kaling is a co-creator, writer, and producer. [3] She had a reoccurring guest role on the show, which premiered Thursday, March 8, 2018 on NBC. [30] It was cancelled after one season.

In 2018, she played Mrs. Who in A Wrinkle in Time , the live-action Disney adaptation of the novel, and starred alongside Helena Bonham Carter, Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, and Rihanna in Ocean's 8 , the all-female version of Ocean's Eleven . [31]

Writing

In 2011, Kaling published a memoir, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) , which appeared on the New York Times best-seller list. [32] Her second book, Why Not Me? , covers the many events that have happened in her life since 2011, and was published on September 15, 2015. Why Not Me? launched at No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list. [33]

Personal life

Kaling has a close friendship with B. J. Novak, whom she met through writing for The Office. The two dated on and off while writing and acting on the show, sometimes mirroring the on-again, off-again nature of the relationship between their respective characters Ryan Howard and Kelly Kapoor. [34]

In 2012, Kaling was included in the Time 100 list of influential people. [35] In 2014, she was named one of Glamour magazine's Women of the Year. [36]

Kaling is a 1% owner of the Welsh football team Swansea City A.F.C. based in Swansea, Wales in the UK. [37]

In December 2017, Kaling gave birth to a daughter. [38] Kaling has not revealed the identity of the baby's father and at the time of her pregnancy was not romantically linked to anyone publicly. [39]

On June 10, 2018, she received the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. [40]

Filmography

Film

YearTitleRoleDirectorNotes
2005 The 40 Year Old Virgin Amy Judd Apatow Film debut
2006 Unaccompanied Minors Restaurant Hostess Paul Feig
2007 License to Wed Shelly Ken Kwapis
2009 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian Docent Shawn Levy
2010 Despicable Me Tourist Mom Pierre Coffin
Chris Renaud
Voice, Cameo
2011 No Strings Attached Shira Ivan Reitman
2012 The Five-Year Engagement Vaneetha Nicholas Stoller
2012 Wreck-It Ralph Taffyta Muttonfudge Rich Moore Voice
2013 This Is the End Herself Seth Rogen
Evan Goldberg
2015 Inside Out Disgust Pete Docter Voice
2015 Riley's First Date? Disgust Josh Cooley Voice; short film
2015 The Night Before Sarah Jonathan Levine
2018 A Wrinkle in Time Mrs. Who Ava DuVernay
2018 Ocean's 8 Amita Gary Ross
2019 Late Night Molly Patel Nisha Ganatra Also writer and producer

Television

YearTitleRoleNotes
2005–2013 The Office Kelly Kapoor Also writer, executive producer, and director
174 episodes
2005 Curb Your Enthusiasm Richard Lewis' AssistantEpisode: "Lewis Needs a Kidney"
2012–2017 The Mindy Project Dr. Mindy LahiriAlso creator, writer, and producer
117 episodes
2014 Sesame Street HerselfEpisode #4505
2015 The Muppets HerselfEpisode: "Single All the Way" [41]
2017 Animals Sandy (voice)Episode: "Squirrels"
2018 Champions Priya PatelAlso co-creator, writer, and producer
5 episodes [42]
2018 It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia CindyEpisode: "The Gang Makes Paddy's Great Again"

The Office writing credits

  1. "Hot Girl" (April 26, 2005) – Season 1
  2. "The Dundies" (September 20, 2005) – Season 2
  3. "The Injury" (January 12, 2006) – Season 2
  4. "Take Your Daughter to Work Day" (March 16, 2006) – Season 2
  5. "Diwali" (November 2, 2006) – Season 3
  6. "Ben Franklin" (February 1, 2007) – Season 3
  7. "Branch Wars" (November 1, 2007) – Season 4
  8. "Night Out" (April 24, 2008) – Season 4
  9. "Frame Toby" (November 20, 2008) – Season 5
  10. "Lecture Circuit: Part 1" (February 5, 2009) – Season 5
  11. "Lecture Circuit: Part 2" (February 12, 2009) – Season 5
  12. "Golden Ticket" (March 12, 2009) – Season 5
  13. "Niagara" co-written with Greg Daniels (October 8, 2009) – Season 6
  14. "Secret Santa" (December 10, 2009) – Season 6
  15. "The Manager and the Salesman" (February 11, 2010) – Season 6
  16. "Secretary's Day" (April 22, 2010) – Season 6
  17. "The Sting" (October 21, 2010) – Season 7
  18. "Classy Christmas" (December 9, 2010) – Season 7
  19. "Michael's Last Dundies" (April 21, 2011) – Season 7
  20. "Christmas Wishes" (December 9, 2011) – Season 8
  21. "Test the Store" (March 9, 2012) – Season 8

The Office directing

  1. "Body Language" (April 29, 2010) – Season 6
  2. "Michael's Last Dundies" (April 21, 2011) – Season 7

Awards and nominations

In 2013, Entertainment Weekly identified Kaling as one of the "50 Coolest and Most Creative Entertainers" in Hollywood. [43] In the same year, Kaling was recognized by Time as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. [25]

YearCeremonyAwardResultNominated work
2005 Writers Guild of America Awards New Series Nominated The Office
Comedy Series Nominated
2006 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Won
New Series Comedy Series Won
2007 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Comedy Series Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Won
New Series Episodic Comedy – for episode "Local Ad"Nominated
Comedy Series Nominated
Asian Excellence Awards Supporting Television ActressWon
2008 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Comedy SeriesNominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated
New Series Comedy Series Nominated
2009 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Comedy SeriesNominated
Prism Awards Performance in a Comedy SeriesNominated
2010 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Comedy SeriesNominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, "Niagara"Nominated
2012 Writers Guild of America Awards New Series Nominated The Mindy Project
Peoples Choice Awards Favorite New TV ComedyNominated
Critics' Choice Television Awards Most Exciting New Series Won
2013 Gracie Awards Outstanding Producer – EntertainmentWon
NAACP Image Award Outstanding Comedy Series Nominated
TCA Awards Outstanding New Program Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Breakout Show Nominated
Choice TV Actress: Comedy Nominated
2014 Gracie Awards Outstanding Female Actor in a Leading Role in a ComedyWon
NAACP Image Award Outstanding Comedy Series Nominated
TCA Awards Outstanding Achievement in Comedy [44] Nominated
TCA Award for Individual Achievement in Comedy [44] Nominated
2015 Satellite Awards Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy Series Won
Reader's Choice AwardsReader's Choice Award for Best Humor BookWonWhy Not Me?

Bibliography

See also

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