BJ Novak Melted ‘The Office’ Fans’ Hearts by Commenting on a Photo of Mindy Kaling as Kelly Kapoor

Actor BJ Novak is best known for his starring role in the hit NBC comedy The Office. He worked alongside a host of well-known stars, including Mindy Kaling. The two celebrities have remained friends over the years, but many love their Office-focused interactions the most. Learn what Novak said about Kaling in October 2020.

BJ Novak and Mindy Kaling starred in ‘The Office’

(l-r) Mindy Kaling as Kelly Kapoor, BJ Novak as Ryan in 'The Office'
(l-r) Mindy Kaling as Kelly Kapoor, BJ Novak as Ryan in ‘The Office’ | Colleen Hayes/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

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Both Novak and Kaling joined The Office with its first season. Novak began as both a writer and an actor, portraying Ryan Howard, a temp hired at Dunder Mifflin Scranton. Kaling was hired as a writer but was soon became a member of the cast as Kelly Kapoor, a customer service representative. Over time, her on-screen role increased.

Ryan and Kelly start dating in The Office Season 2 in the episode “Valentine’s Day.” Their relationship goes through many ups and downs, with Ryan breaking up with her every time he can find a way to leave Dunder Mifflin. In the series finale, she’s engaged to another man, but they run off together anyway.

They had a romance off-screen as well as on

Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak arrive at the 'Inglourious Basterds' premiere on August 10, 2009
Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak arrive at the ‘Inglourious Basterds’ premiere on August 10, 2009 | John Shearer/WireImage

Relationships often occur on film and TV sets, between characters who are or aren’t together on screen. But Kaling and Novak’s relationship is unique in that it inspired the back-and-forth, confusing nature of what they developed for their characters, though perhaps not quite as heightened.

“No one, including us, ever really knew, ‘Is this dating? Is this not dating?'” Novak told Vulture in 2012. “We were never really dating, we were never really not dating. We didn’t know. No one knew. All you’d know for sure as that you’d always find one of us next to the other, even if we weren’t getting along.”

Kaling and Novak have remained close friends

Mindy Kaling (L) and B.J. Novak (R) attend the FYC panel for 'The Mindy Project' on June 8, 2016
Mindy Kaling (L) and B.J. Novak (R) attend the FYC panel for ‘The Mindy Project’ on June 8, 2016 | Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

Though their romance has been over for some time, Kaling and Novak consider themselves best friends. They’ve continued to work together, with Novak writing episodes of Kaling’s series The Mindy Project (he also guest-starred in a couple of them as Jamie, who briefly dates Kaling’s Mindy Lahiri).

In addition, Novak and Kaling are often each other’s dates to events, with the former accompanying the latter to the Academy Awards on more than one occasion. They’re also very supportive of one another’s work. And Novak is the godfather to both of Kaling’s children, Katherine and Spencer.

Novak’s sweet comment on Kaling’s Instagram

Mindy Kaling (R) and BJ Novak arrive for the 92nd Oscars on February 9, 2020.
Mindy Kaling (R) and BJ Novak arrive for the 92nd Oscars on February 9, 2020. |Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images

Kaling shared a composite image as part of the “How it started/How it’s going” challenge, in which a user posts an old photo of themselves compared with a more recent one. The old pic is Kaling as Kelly in The Office Season 1, while the new one is of Kaling at the 2020 Oscars (which they attended together, above).

In her Instagram caption, Kaling wrote, “So yeah, it’s going pretty well. How about you?” seemingly indicating that things are better for her now. Novak replied, “I like both,” to which many Instagram users replied. “We see Mr. Kapoor!” wrote one. “Ryan and Kelly forever!!!! No matter how dysfunctional,” wrote another.