Mindy Kaling Opens Up About How Her Parents Were Cast as Kelly Kapoor's on The Office
“I really like that Kelly has this defiant attitude about it, that it’s really important, while also not knowing anything about it at all,” Mindy Kaling says of her character Kelly Kapoor in The Office episode "Diwali"
When it came down to it, the actors who were perfect to play the part of Mindy Kaling's parents on The Office were her actual parents.
During Tuesday's episode of The Office Ladies podcast, Kaling, 41, told her former costars Angela Kinsey and Jenna Fischer that casting her real-life parents happened after she and The Office showrunner Greg Daniels auditioned other actors to play the part.
"We only cast my parents in it, which just seems like a complete act of nepotism and favoritism, because we had auditioned the parts and Greg felt that the actors we found in that age group were either too theatrical for the style of acting on our show or too stilted because they had no acting experience," Kaling said. "Now, I’m the first to say that my parents’ acting was also very stilted. But [Greg] was like, ‘At least they bear some familial resemblance to you. So, we’ll put them in there.' "
Kaling also opened up about how Daniels agreed to do the "Diwali" episode centered around the Hindu holiday.
"We couldn’t believe Greg said yes," Kaling said. “I had to kind of confront the fact that I’m Indian American, I don’t know very much about the holiday, and the bad experience of being Indian American and talking about how you don’t know very much about the holiday kind of became a big part of the episode, which I loved."
"I like that Greg thought that it was just as interesting, if not more interesting than me going and pretending that my family and I were these experts at Hindu holidays," she added. "I really like that Kelly has this defiant attitude about it, that it’s really important, while also not knowing anything about it at all."
And thus along came "Diwali."
The cast confirmed the news in a hilarious Zoom call posted to Instagram. After the group commented on star Maitreyi Ramakrishnan's new "quarantine bangs," the actress informed her costars of the exciting update.
"I just wanted to tell you guys that Never Have I Ever is being renewed for season 2," she says, as everyone erupts into celebratory cheers.
"Wow, that is much better news than you getting bangs," says Darren Barnet, who stars as Paxton Hall-Yoshida on the show.
While a release date has not yet been set, the news comes on the heels of the highly successful first season.
The show, created and executive-produced by Kaling, followed Devi (Ramakrishnan), a modern-day first-generation Indian American teenage girl as she navigated her sophomore year of high school and her quest to lose her virginity.
The series also stars Jaren Lewison, Poorna Jagannathan, Ramona Young and more. Lang Fisher serves as executive producer, showrunner and writer.
Speaking at a Netflix brunch ahead of the season 1 premiere, Kaling said she felt the need to show a different side to the stereotypical teenage nerd, according to Variety.
“Nerds are not only the wallflowers and the quiet ones,” she said. “We’re ambitious, we have obnoxious personalities sometimes, we want to have sex and dreams like all the other kids.”
“I felt lucky to be able to do a show about an Indian nerd who’s also badly behaved … because I’m deeply familiar with it,” she added.