It’s no secret that Mindy Kaling (born Vera Mindy Chokalingam) and B.J. Novak (Benjamin Joseph Manaly Novak) have had a relationship both on the camera and off.
Kaling was hired both as a writer and performer for America’s version of The Office, portraying Kelly Kapoor. Novak was also one of the writers, one of the executive producers, and portrayed Ryan Howard on the show.
Their characters on ‘The Office’
The perky and rather forward Kelly makes her interest in Ryan well-known during early seasons of the show, including the fact she wanted to marry him and have his children. He was not particularly interested in her, nor her intentions.
However, he reconsiders as the show progresses and they get together only to break up several times during the life of the show.
The real-life romance of Kaling and Novak
They met during the scripting of The Office and starting flirting and fighting immediately, said Novak according to Insider. They dated on and off again for many years, which probably increased the tension for their on-air performances and vice versa.
What Novak and Kaling had finally come to realize that their destiny was not for romance but maybe rather as best friends Although in 2015, Kaling wasn’t sure of that either.
“He is not my boyfriend, but he is not my best friend. I guess you could describe our relationship as a ‘romantically charged camaraderie with loud arguments,’ but I don’t think Facebook would accept this as a new status,” she told InStyle Magazine during an interview in 2015.
‘The Mindy Project’
When Kaling started her own comedy show, The Mindy Project, she wanted Novak involved and hired him as a consulting producer. In one episode it should come as no surprise he played a love interest for Kaling’s OB-GYN character. But, in the end, he realizes they are truly best friends and should remain as such, ruling out further romance.
It should be noted that Kaling’s real-life mom, Swati Chokalingam, is an OB-GYN. An inspiration for her character on the show? Probably. So, when it comes to her relationship with Novak on the show, is it a mirror to their real-life relationship? We think so.
Novak returned for a total of four appearances on the show, his last in 2016 before the show ended its run in 2017.
Who’s the daddy?
In December 2017, Kaling gave birth to her first child a daughter. The only parent’s name on the birth certificate is Kaling’s. Since little Katherine’s birth we have seen little of her and what we have seen doesn’t include her face. Whether that is for her safety, or also to protect the identity of the child’s father, we don’t know.
Kaling considers herself a single mom although, as one might expect, she does have help from a nanny. You’ll find no photos of the nanny either.
Since The Office, Novak has appeared in episodes of The Newsroom and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. He portrayed songwriter Robert B. Sherman in Saving Mr. Banks. He has also authored a couple of books including his 2014 release, One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories which spent six weeks on the New York Times Hardcover Fiction Best Sellers list, and a children’s book, The Book With No Pictures, also released in 2014.
Since The Mindy Project, Kaling had co-created the short-lived comedy, Champions. She has also appeared in a few films including A Wrinkle in Time and Ocean’s Eight. She is screenwriter and producer of the 2019 film Late Night in which she also has a role.
Kaling is the author of two New York Times list memoirs. In 2015, she and Novak reportedly signed a $7.5 million book deal about their relationship, although we haven’t heard or seen any more about it.
The two have attended the Vanity Fair Oscar party together this year and last. Neither has been reported dating anyone else as of late.