Getting the opportunity to write on one of the most popular TV shows of all time sounds like a dream come true for any aspiring writer. And although Kaling is incredibly grateful for her experience, she had a difficult time adjusting to the job. She even recalls the beginning stages of her time on The Office as being “lonely” and “friendless.”
Mindy Kaling had a tough time when she started writing for ‘The Office’
Kaling wanted to pursue comedy writing her whole life. In fact, the talented actor wanted to write for comedy so badly that she’d go into movie theaters and take notes on all of the things she’d find funny. And although Kaling was practically born to write for The Office, she struggled with the job at first.
She reveals on The Off Camera Show,
“The first season was incredibly exciting because I was so impressed by the talent of the other writers. It was Mike Schur, BJ Novak, and Paul Leiberstein, and Greg Daniels. But also, and I think they would be okay with me saying this, they’re not the friendliest guys. At all. I was the youngest, and I was the staff writer that came from New York that had no TV experience.”
The ‘Mindy Project’ star felt ‘friendless’ during this time
Kaling tell Sam Jones: “I remember Mike Schur, who is now a great friend who has created so many awesome shows and everything, invited BJ to a red socks/dodgers game in the writer’s room. And I remember feeling so left out.”
She then adds that the writer’s room felt like a “boys club” at first.
“It was very exciting,” she continues, “but I was also friendless and living in a terrible apartment, that cost like $800 a month. It was covered in mold.”
Kaling reveals that she felt incredibly timid and demure while starting on The Office. Yet according to her co-workers, Kaling was quite the opposite.
“You were not terrified and silent at all,” they’d say. “You were expressing your opinions loudly. Constantly.”
‘Late Night’ shares her own experiences as a staff writer
Late Night tells the story of Molly (Kaling), who gets a job as a staff writer for a late-night show. Kaling’s character faces several hurdles, considering she is the only woman on the staff writing team for the show. Fans of Kaling might speculate that the movie is based on her own experiences while working for The Office. Kaling admits that many aspects of the film are, in fact, based around her own experiences. She tells EW that the movie particularly highlights her experience as a “diversity hire” for the show.
Kaling says, “I have all my distinct memories of being the only woman [and] the only person of color on a TV sitcom writing staff as a young person, having no experience, being terrified that I would get fired — all of those things which I can access so easily [for Molly] because they were so vivid to me.”