Dr. Mindy Lahiri is back on Hulu! A new season of the fan favorite The Mindy Project premieres on it’s new home Hulu on September 15th. ThatsItMommy got a chance to sit in Dr. Lahiri’s office with Mindy Kaling to talk about where the sitcom will be going, the future of shows on streaming networks, diversity in entertainment and what kind of movie Kaling would love to make. Read on to find out this and more!
How does it feel transitioning from network to Hulu? Has it been freeing?
Mindy Kaling: It’s great! It’s so liberating! It’s so fun to be in a place without a lot of the restrictions, as we did when we were on a network. Overall I think the biggest feeling is the love that I get from the heads of Hulu for the show–the way they just nurture it and help make it the best show that it can be. It’s really unusual and great. It makes me wonder why we didn’t do this years and years ago. I’m very happy at Hulu!
With the film system and studio system having been the way it is for so long, would you say that streaming networks like Hulu and Netflix now allow more opportunity for different voices to get out there and create more diverse characters that represent everybody?
I got into this business because I have the dream of writing and acting. What I didn’t know (and no one tells you) is that after you’re lucky enough to be the kind of person who gets to keep working (and you’re lucky enough to have your own show) that creating opportunities for other people and creating places where people who look different than the average person on television must come from one thing only which is wanting to create really good television. It actually doesn’t come from the
philanthropic, altruistic reasons.
Like for me the benefit of having people, like Xosha, on the show, or having women writers or minority writers or gay writers is one thing. No one else is doing it. You will have a competitive advantage if you do it because you’re going to be putting something out there that no one else has.
Xosha, (who) as a character and we play her as a mid-twenties millennial character who lives in New York City, has modeled and has all these experiences. Some of the time we borrow from Xosha and no other show is doing that. I found Xosha because she was on the movie Precious, I would say probably the least funny movie ever, and I thought ‘what would she be like in a completely different circumstance?’ The average person casting comedy shows today isn’t looking at Precious going, ‘who can we discover to be in a comedy show?’ But I did it. While I love Xosha and giving her the opportunity, I did it because this is not something people get to see. I want to have the competitive advantage. Shonda Rhimes is casting people with a diverse cast because she knows that it’s a good business decision. So that to me has been the secret to all that.
The show has balanced the Rom-Com (a.k.a. Romantic Comedy) film genre tone but on a network. The series is filled with all these homages to the greats throughout the seasons. Now the first episode starts with what typically is the final act of a Rom-Com, everything comes together with the proposal and having a baby. What are you excited to explore in this new terrain with Mindy?
What am I most excited to explore? I think Mindy and Danny as parents. They’re so independent as characters, so I think seeing them as parents will be good. And honestly nothing is more becoming on a character than love for a child, and I think especially with Danny. It’s incredibly appealing to see a character, who two years ago said they weren’t ever going to have a child, have a kid. So that is really fun to see – that transformation.
There are all these announcements for writers and directors for genre/franchise movies like Star Wars, Jurassic World and the Marvel Cinematic Universe being announced as slates keep getting bigger. Are there any Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Dinosaur or Superhero movies that you would like to work on?
I love Sci-Fi, I love action movies. I think probably the best challenge (that would be the most fun to tackle) is a superhero that hasn’t been seen or at least perceived as something they haven’t been able to crack yet. That’s what I loved about Guardians of the Galaxy when it came out. I thought James Gunn was so cool, that he was able to crack that and make it really watchable, funny and cool – instead of rebooting something else. Probably something like that, I think it’s cool like Ant-Man and Guardians. They were really challenging, I think. And the fact that they did so well is cool.
The Mindy Project Season 4 airs on Hulu starting this week!