Mindy Kaling is enjoying success as a writer, producer and star of her own show The Mindy Project, but the actress is also dealing with the heartbreak of losing her mother to pancreatic cancer last year.
“I would say that my mother is the single biggest role model in my life, but that term doesn’t seem to encompass enough when I use it about her,” she says.
Kaling’s show got the green-light the day of her mother’s death, an occurrence that gives Kaling a sense of spiritual harmony.
“It was like a gift from God or my mom,” she told Parade magazine in September. “I think she was giving me something so I didn’t have to get crushed under the weight of my grief.”
When Dunham asks Kaling what inspires her about other women, she says, “I love when women are courageous in the face of unthinkable circumstances, like my mother when she was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer.”