Although Mindy Kaling's panel at BookCon 2015 was mostly about her upcoming memoir Why Not Me?, it's no surprise that many of the author's fans also wanted to talk about another project she has in the works — the move of The Mindy Project to Hulu, after FOX cancelled the show earlier this month. Thankfully, the star was more than happy to discuss her eponymous series, and even gave audience members some insight into how she really feels about the show's move online.
"It's never been smooth sailing," Kaling admitted, comparing her show's history to a rocky relationship (interviewer — and former Kaling boyfriend — B.J. Novak was not amused).
She spoke of the many changes the series has undergone since its creation, from its rejection from NBC to its three years on FOX to, now, its new life — and supersized Season 4 — on Hulu. She expressed a bit of frustration with the many bumps, but also said that she's "very excited" to take it to a new platform.
Said Kaling, the show is "the love of my life."
One of the reasons she's so enthusiastic about going to Hulu is being able to push some of the boundaries she couldn't on network TV, such as showing some racier scenes. Still, she's a firm believer in "a little goes a long way," and says not to expect any major changes in terms of tone.
Something fans might look forward to, though? More guest stars. The Mindy Project has had quite the share of celebrity cameos over its years, from Seth Rogen to Shonda Rhimes, and Kaling hopes to continue the trend in the show's future years. She named stars like Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon as dream choices, adding that she'd love to have both Tom Hanks and Dave Chappelle on for a You've Got Mail reunion (Novak described watching the '90s rom-com as a "requirement" for being Kaling's friend).
Hopefully, the actress will get to make her casting dreams come true in the upcoming season, and soon; she revealed that the writers' start work on Monday. Whatever happens, though, Kaling's excited about it all; in the panel, she spoke at length about her happiness with the success of both the show and herself, despite not looking like the typical Hollywood celebrity. She discussed the lenience white stars like James Franco are given to make creative choices, while people of color like herself don't get to be a "blank page."
"James Franco doesn’t exist if you’re an Indian woman," she said. "That’s not a choice for you."
Kaling expressed pride in her heritage and enthusiasm for exploring it in future projects, but said that it's far from her, or her character Mindy Lahiri's, defining quality.
"Me being Indian is a fact," she said. "But I write stories as a woman in her 30s who's trying to love... I just want my character to be relatable."
"And," she added, "I think the reason that this room is packed with women, not just Indian women, is that that's been successful."