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45 fun facts about the talented and hilarious Mindy Kaling

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WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 22: Actress Mindy Kaling attends ELLE's Annual Women in Television Celebration at Sunset Tower on January 22, 2014 in West Hollywood, California.
(Photo : Angela Weiss/Getty Images) WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 22: Actress Mindy Kaling attends ELLE's Annual Women in Television Celebration at Sunset Tower on January 22, 2014 in West Hollywood, California.

Emmy-nominated actress and writer Mindy Kaling is a force to be reckoned with. She has appeared on and written and produced critically acclaimed roles on the TV sitcoms ‘The Office’ and ‘The Mindy Project.’

  1. She was born on June 24, 1979 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

  2. Her birth name is Vera Mindy Chokalingam.

  3. The name Vera is, according to Kaling, is of the "incarnation of a Hindu goddess."

  4. While pregnant, her mother enjoyed the show "Mork and Mindy" and decided it sounded like a "cute American" name for her daughter.

  5. Mindy says she once told the story to the show's star, Robin Williams, but he did not believe her.

  6. She says she was quite nerdy while growing up. . "If you've seen a photo of me from when I was a kid," Kaling told NPR's Renee Montagne, "I don't think anyone would have expected that going in front of the camera was something that I was going to do. I can't believe how little effort my parents put into making me seem like an appealing little girl." But, ever the skilled comedian, Kaling has been able to turn her geeky childhood into a source of comedy. "There's photos from our high school musicals, and I'm comically in the deep background, wearing a beggar's costume" she told Montagne.

  7. She went to the prestigious Buckingham Browne & Nichols school in Cambridge.

    HOLLYWOOD - FEBRUARY 04: Actress Mindy Kaling arrives at the 2006 Writers Guild Awards held at The Hollywood Palladium on February 4, 2006 in Hollywood, California.
    (Photo : David Livingston/Getty Images) HOLLYWOOD - FEBRUARY 04: Actress Mindy Kaling arrives at the 2006 Writers Guild Awards held at The Hollywood Palladium on February 4, 2006 in Hollywood, California.
  8. Mindy attended Dartmouth College and while there, she used to draw comic strip she drew for the school's newspaper called "Badly Drawn Girl."

  9. She was a Classics major for much of college, studying Latin, which she had not studied since 7th grade.

  10. She also wrote for the Dartmouth Jack-O-Lantern magazine and took part in the The Dog Day Players improv group.

  11. While in college, she got a little taste of show business when she worked as an intern at "Late Night with Conan O'Brien." She accredits O'Brien for having a major influence on her career. She also worked as a production assistant for the show "Crossing Over With John Edward" but called it one of the "worst jobs" she ever had.

  12. She got her start in acting on-stage before landing her first TV appearance in "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and made her movie debut in "The 40-Year-Old Virgin".

  13. She shortened her last name to Kaling early in her post-college standup comedy years in New York, mostly due to the annoying habit emcees had of joking about how hard it was to pronounce.

  14. Her first big break was a show that she wrote and starred in called Matt and Ben. It was celebrity spoof about actors Ben Affleck and Matt Damon writing the screenplay for the movie Good Will Hunting. Kaling played Damon, and Brenda Withers, Kaling's friend from Dartmouth, played Ben Affleck in 2003.

  15. One night during Matt & Ben's off-Broadway run, Mindy accidentally broke Brenda's nose. But ever the consummate professionals, they just kept going, blood and all.

  16. The show was a huge success and Time magazine named it one of the "Top Ten Theatrical Events of The Year."

  17. The show was featured in both New York City and Los Angeles. During a performance in Los Angeles, in the audience was producer Greg Daniels who was mesmerized by her performance and he later went on to offer Kaling a job.

  18. Daniels was developing an American version of the popular British comedy series The Office, and Kaling joined the show as both a writer and an actress.

  19. She was the only female writer at "The Office." When asked about it, she joked, "Well, all the guys want to have sex with me all the time. Every day I come to work it's nonstop sexual harassment. They had to have some people from General Electric come down and talk to us about it. There's a lawsuit that's about to happen."

  20. In the third season episode of The Office entitled "Diwali"-which, incidentally, Mindy wrote-Kelly Kapoor's parents were played by Mindy's real-life parents.

  21. When the show debuted in 2005, she starred as Kelly Kapoor, a talkative, pop-culture-obsessed customer-service rep.

  22. The character, Kelly, also spent a lot of time ruminating over her relationship with her co-worker Ryan Howard (B. J. Novak). Offscreen, Kaling and Novak dated for a time and still remain good friends.

  23. She loves reading books by Jhumpa Lahiri, even naming her Mindy Lahiri character after her.

  24. She also served as an Executive Producer for the show and she even directed a couple episodes.

  25. In 2012, Mindy left "The Office" in order to star in her own show, "The Mindy Project," on Fox. She brought many of her former "The Office" co-stars along. Ed Helms, who played Andy Bernard made a couple of guest appearances on the show's first season. Ellie Kemper, who played Erin Hannon has a recurring role on the show.

  26. Mindy drew inspiration for the career choice of the character from a place that is really close to home. Mindy's mother, Swati, is also a physician. Mindy admitted to getting some of her story ideas from her mother's real-world career.

  27. Her father, Avu, is an architect.

    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 30: Mindy Kaling attends Hulu's Upfront Presentation on April 30, 2014 in New York City.
    (Photo : Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Hulu) NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 30: Mindy Kaling attends Hulu's Upfront Presentation on April 30, 2014 in New York City.
  28. The Mindy Project has been nominated for three NAACP Image Awards in 2015. Mindy Kaling herself is nominated for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series.

  29. Recently, Mindy Kaling gifted Reese Witherspoon with an Oscar-themed 'Wreath Witherspoon.' In a December episode of The Mindy Project, Mindy Lahiri hangs up a 'Wreath Witherspoon'- a wreath plastered with pictures of Reese Witherspoon. Witherspoon is up for an Oscar.

  30. In the 2011 film No Strings Attached, she played the roommate of the main character, Natalie Portman.

  31. She is not only an actress and producer, she is also a talented author. Her book "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)" debuted in 2011. It features witty stories from Mindy's life, as well as observations about her friends, family, and the other people around her.

  32. She loves to use Twitter and sends out some hilarious 140 character jokes. When Bookish asked Kaling about her tweeting habits, she said, "I can't get in every idea I want on [The Mindy Project] no matter how hard I try to bully the other writers. [Tweeting is] a way of me getting out other comic ideas and immediately getting feedback."

  33. In 2013, Time magazine named her one of the "100 Most Influential People in the World."

  34. Mindy is obsessed with romantic movies. She even wrote an article for The New Yorker in 2011 called "Flick Chicks: A Guide to Women in the Movies."

  35. Mindy scored her first major magazine cover when she appeared on the February 2014 issue of Elle, but the cover picture caused quite a controversy amongst some fans and media outlets. The magazine printed the cover in black and white as opposed to the standard color body shot. Either way, Mindy tweeted, "It made me feel glamorous & cool."

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 18: Actress Mindy Kaling attends the 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 18, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.
    (Photo : Ethan Miller/Getty Images) LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 18: Actress Mindy Kaling attends the 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 18, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.
  36. She has been frank about the challenges an Indian-American woman faces in the entertainment industry. "Last month she joked with Jon Stewart about how thankful she is for her success, considering, "I'm a minority chubby woman who has my own show on a network. I don't know how long this is going to last!" But she's not interested in having any labels define her or her work. "I never want to be called the funniest Indian female comedian that exists," Kaling told Vulture in September of 2012. "I feel like I can go head-to-head with the best white, male comedy writers that are out there. Why would I want to self-categorize myself into a smaller group than I'm able to compete in?"

  37. Her worst job ever? As a production assistant on psychic talk show Crossing Over with John Edwards.

    NEW YORK, NY - MAY 12: Actress Mindy Kaling attends the FOX 2014 Programming Presentation at the FOX Fanfront on May 12, 2014 in New York City.
    (Photo : Ben Gabbe/Getty Images) NEW YORK, NY - MAY 12: Actress Mindy Kaling attends the FOX 2014 Programming Presentation at the FOX Fanfront on May 12, 2014 in New York City.
  38. She takes prenatal vitamins, but not for the reason you think. Mindy swears by Trader Joe's prenatal vitamins for thick, gorgeous hair and glowing skin.

  39. Mindy Kaling is the first Indian-American to have her own network show.

  40. The on-set photos in Mindy's apartment and office are Kaling's own. There are also photos of Mindy with actors who have been on the show for added realism.

  41. She prefers writing to acting for the following reason: "It's almost a prerequisite that you're a chubby, cantankerous person who wears gym shorts and torn T-shirts. You're celebrated if you don't look that great. Whereas as an actress, I have to go to the gym and wear makeup and I can't swear." As writers ourselves, we can understand where she's coming from.

  42. Kaling considers herself Hindu.

  43. B.J. Novak and Mindy Kaling are writing a book about their relationship and they have received $7.5 million for the book deal, according to The New York Daily News. They are yet to announce the title of the book.

    WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 18: Actors Mindy Kaling (L) and B.J. Novak attend the Weinstein Company & Netflix's 2014 SAG after party in partnership with Laura Mercier at Sunset Tower on January 18, 2014 in West Hollywood, California.
    (Photo : Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for The Weinstein Company) WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 18: Actors Mindy Kaling (L) and B.J. Novak attend the Weinstein Company & Netflix's 2014 SAG after party in partnership with Laura Mercier at Sunset Tower on January 18, 2014 in West Hollywood, California.
  44. Her net worth is $15 million.

  45. She has also voiced characters in the films Despicable Me, Wreck-It Ralph and Inside Out.

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