Mindy Kaling covers New York Magazine this week, and along with a lot of fascniating background about her work as a writer and showrunner for two years of The Office, we learn that Mindy’s mother passed away on the same day her show The Mindy Project, got picked up by Fox.
Mindy on the surreal events:
“And when my mom passed away and my dad was like, ‘Can you tell everybody?’ I went to get my phone, which I had not looked at for, like, 36 hours, and it was filled with e-mails and phone calls,” she says. “And I thought, How do people already know about my mom? But it was about the pilot, because the news had already gone out while I had been in this cocoon of this hospital with my family. It was the weirdest thing.”
Her 65-year-old mother Swati was an OBY-GYN, and serves as the the inspiration behind her Mindy’s new character (also called Mindy.) Swati was a style maven who deeply influenced her daughter Mindy, who over the past decade has stealthily worked towards becoming a huge pop culture icon with a confident swagger. Part of Mindy’s particular “swag” is that she oozes feminine vulnerability and insecurity. The power is in the contradiction, which is evident in her bestselling book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns.)
Before her mom died (Swati was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer 8 months before she passed) Mindy asked her to write down some advice.
“My relationship with my mom is really the single most profound relationship that I’ve ever had in my life. I said to her, ‘Mom, I’m going to be so lonely without you.’” She’s crying now but keeps going. “And she just said, ‘You have to be your own best friend. If you always remember that, you will always have someone there with you.’”
That explains where Mindy gets her amazing “I can do anything attitude.”
On a less serious side-note, it was also revealed in this interview that Mindy dated her The Office on-screen love and off-screen writing buddy B.J. Novak off-and-on throughout the years! I knew it!