Mindy Kaling On A Mission For More South Asian Representation In Hollywood
Mindy Kaling is an actress, comedian, writer, and producer. Taking a look at her past successes, Kaling claims that she does not wait for people to offer her parts – she creates her own opportunities. Greg Daniels, NBC’s “The Office” creator, picked up Kaling and brought her along on the show as a writer/actor saying, “whereas some writers were consumed with the punch line, Kaling gravitated towards stories based in conflict – the kind of squirm-inducing, awkward and hilarious moments”. Kaling thrives in comedy. She has also written two comedic memoirs, “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns)”, and “Why Not Me?” which have both topped the New York Times’ best-seller list.
Earlier this year, Kaling secured a record breaking $13-million U.S rights deal at the Sundance 2019 Festival with Amazon Studios for her screenplay, “Late Night”. “So much of this movie is about being a fan and being on the outside of the entertainment business. That story has been told many, many, many times by a 52-year-old white men… I’ve always identified with them because it was the closest thing that I could identify with. There was no one like me making those films”, says Kaling. “Late Night” is written by, directed by, and focused on women. The film follows a veteran talk show host, played by British actress Emma Thompson, who faces a possible cancellation and a reputation for not liking women. Enter Katherine Newbury (played by Kaling herself) who plays the “diversity hire” in the writer’s room and shakes up the entire house. The film will hit theatres this June – but that’s certainly not the last time you’ll see Kaling making headlines.
It was just last week when Kaling announced that Universal has won the rights to her untitled comedy film, pitched alongside Priyanka Chopra and Dan Goor. A cross between “Crazy Rich Asians” and “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”; this wedding comedy revolves around a huge desi wedding, the culture clashes that come along with it, and will also extensively be shot in Delhi and Rajasthan, two beautiful places in India. While Kaling brings her south Asian culture into the film industry, she’s also making a huge splash in the TV streaming world.
Kaling has just finished production on a mini-series adaptation of the film, “Four Weddings and a Funeral”, for Hulu and UniTV. While the release date has not yet been released, Kaling announced that she is also joining Netflix with her own brand-new TV comedy. The 10-episode series order is a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age comedy following a first-generation Indian American teen girl. Kaling is holding an open casting call for the comedy series for three of the lead South Asian roles — opening the door for new talent to be discovered. The response on social media has been incredible and proof just how much young and old South Asians are craving to be seen in mainstream media and grateful for such opportunities, which are a rare find.
While Kaling is constantly making waves in the entertainment industry, she never forgets to add her South Asian heritage to the mix. 2019 is not just Kaling’s year – it’s for anyone and everyone who wishes to see themselves represented in the media.