Mindy Kaling Celebrates B.J. Novak's Birthday with Sweet Tribute: 'One of the Greats'

Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak, who played onscreen lovers in The Office, dated on-and-off in real life between 2004 and 2007

BJ Novak and Mindy Kaling
B.J. Novak and Mindy Kaling. Photo: Matt Baron/Shutterstock

Mindy Kaling had nothing but loving words for B.J. Novak on her former The Office costar's 42nd birthday.

On Sunday, the Mindy Project actress and creator, also 42, celebrated the occasion by sharing a still of Novak with Brad Pitt from the 2009 film Inglorious Basterds.

"Brappy birthday to @bjnovak, one of the greats, pictured here with his friend Brad Pitt," Kaling wrote on her Instagram.

Novak — who served as a writer alongside Kaling for The Office and played her character's love interest on the show — sweetly replied in the comments section: "I'll settle for one of the goods ❤️ ❤️."

B.J. Novak
Mindy Kaling/instagram

Kaling and Novak first met while working on the NBC workplace comedy, dating on-and-off between 2004 and 2007 before ultimately calling it quits.

Despite the split, the two have remained close friends throughout the years — and have even accompanied each other to red carpet events as a platonic date.

In 2014, Novak also opened up to PEOPLE about his friendly relationship with Kaling.

"Complicated," he said when asked to describe Kaling in one word. "A really complicated person and a really complicated friendship, but I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world."

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Kaling also raved about Novak in a 2015 profile with InStyle, saying at the time, "I will freely admit: My relationship with B.J. Novak is weird as hell. He is not my boyfriend, but he is not my best friend."

"I guess you could describe our relationship as a 'romantically charged camaraderie with loud arguments,' but I don't think Facebook would accept this as a new status," she joked.

These days, Kaling sees Novak more as a family member after appointing the actor as the godfather of her 3-year-old daughter Katherine "Kit" Swati. (Kaling is also mom to 10-month-old son Spencer Avu.)

"The truth is that B.J. is so much more like family now than a platonic friend. He's the godfather to my daughter," she told Good Housekeeping in 2019. "He comes over like once a week. Sometimes he'll come over just to hang out with her."

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