Tonight’s the night, ladies! We finally get to watch a new episode of one of the best comedies currently on air: The Mindy Project.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been anxiously awaiting this day since the Season 2 finale, when it seemed like our beloved Mindy (Mindy Kaling) and Danny (Chris Messina) had finally decided to give this couple thing a go. But I got even more excited to see how their saga continues (in an episode called “We’re a Couple Now, Haters!” no less!) when I got the chance to speak with Mindy herself a few months back at the Fox All-Star Party at the 2014 Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour. I only got about seven minutes with Miss Kaling, one of my personal heroes (in real and reel life), but what a glorious seven minutes they were. You can see how it all went down–scoop on Danny and Mindy’s future and all, movie suggestions and all!–in the one-on-one Q&A, which I’m calling “Dork and Mindy” for many reasons, below!
Cinefilles: Hi, I’m Emily! I spoke to you at the press conference earlier today? I had glasses on and I asked you the question about glasses? [Ed’s note: More on this in pieces to come!]
Mindy Kaling: Yes, I remember! I love your dress!
Cinefilles: Thank you! I don’t know if it’s too much, the neon?
MK: No! But you know me, I love neon, so maybe I’m the wrong person to ask? [Laughs]
Cinefilles: I’m going to be slightly unprofessional right now and just say I read your book and I loved it and related to it so much. Also, your show makes me laugh consistently, more than any show I’m watching right now.
MK: Why is that unprofessional? That’s just nice!
Cinefilles: I just got my boyfriend into the show too. It was a bit of struggle as he thought it was only about female characters, but now that he’s seen it, he loves it. It helps that he loves the male characters, as much as Mindy. He freaked out because Glenn Howerton and Anders Holm are in Season 2.
MK: I try to get Workaholics and It’s Always Sunny people on there all the time. [Ed’s note: Howerton’s Sunny co-star Rob McElhenney appears in “We’re a Couple Now, Haters!” as Morgan’s former cellmate!]
Cinefilles: I just couldn’t get enough of Anders.
MK: I know! I think Ders was so good! When he was the pastor and doing the sermons, I … I loved him.
Cinefilles: But let’s get to serious business. What moment did you say to yourself, ‘We have to get Mindy and Danny together in Season 2’?
MK: In our Christmas episode, we had this scene where Danny does a dance for Mindy. We just wrote it said, ‘Oh, he’ll do a dance for Mindy and it will be kinda romantic.’ But it was SO romantic the way it was shot. It was so much more romantic than we anticipated.
Chris did this thing at the end where he made this decision at the end to reach over to Mindy and touch under her chin. It was so romantic that it was like, to delay this any longer would be like, ‘Really?’ We would be playing the characters below their intelligence. Because that [connection] is very clear. He’s not saying it, but there’s so much … tension. So after the kiss in the dessert, it was just like, ‘They should be together. And I mean, it’s not like they’re 22 …
Cinefilles: They don’t have to play around.
Cinefilles: I have to say that kiss on the plane [between Danny and Mindy] was … well, the chemistry was unreal.
MK: He would have chemistry with a shoe, though! Chris Messina is very smoldering.
Cinefilles: Real talk, though: Do you see a future where they aren’t together in the end?
MK: I mean, they are such complicated, stubborn people, so definitely I could. But I’m cynical in a lot of ways, but I’m not about love stories.
I mean, I dated one of my co-stars–I dated BJ [Novak] for a while–and now we’re friends and our relationship is so fun. It’s not a sad story. So, as I get older, I think there’s so many different ways [to love]. I haven’t thought that far ahead [with Mindy and Danny], to be honest, but I want to keep all options open.
Cinefilles: One of my favourite new characters from Season 2 was Peter [as played by Adam Pally] and you said earlier today that he’s going to have more love stories in Season 3. Can you elaborate on that?
MK: Yeah! One of the ways we got to know Mindy was through dating. I feel like you started to feel for her because of all of these horrible relationships she was in. And I think with Peter, who has been a great comedy character, it will be great to see his heartbroken and for him to mess up and for him to be taken advantage of romantically. I think ultimately all of the characters on the show want to be in serious, committed romantic relationships. So, I had all these guest stars to date last year, it’s going to be him this year.
Cinefilles: So lots of sexy ladies are coming on the show?
MK: Yes, lots of sexy ladies!
Cinefilles: Did you give him any input on these sexy ladies?
MK: No! [Laughs] He can just show up and be surprised!
Cinefilles: So what about Beth Grant [who plays Beverly]? Are you going to give her a love interest?
MK: No one has asked me that! That’s a great idea! I don’t think that ever occured to me!
Cinefilles: What is something that did occur to you to do in Season 2, but you didn’t get around to? Or perhaps you had to adjust for whatever reason?
MK: The first thing that comes to mind is just all the stuff with me and Ike [Barinholtz]. I love acting with him, so I want to do more storylines with him, and we always wanted to do more with Mindy and Morgan in Season 2. Our relationship on the show makes me laugh so much.[Publicist interrupts with “One more question!” warning]
Cinefilles: Okay, quickly, what is one more romantic comedy that you don’t like and why?
MK: I only see ones I feel like I’m going to like! I largely don’t see the ones that seem like they’re …. I don’t like movies where it seems like it was put together by a machine at a studio. Without naming names. [Laughs]
Cinefilles: Have you seen They Came Together yet?
MK: I haven’t, but I want to! It’s Amy and Paul, right?
Cinefilles: Yes! And it’s all romantic comedy parodies, so you would love it.
MK: I know! I’m so excited to see it!
Months later and the other Filles and I are in the same boat, Mindy. But just about about Mindy and Danny and everything to come in Season 3.
The Mindy Project premieres Tuesday, Sept. 16 at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT on Fox. Canadians can catch the season premiere Thursday, Sept. 18 at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT on City.