Mindy Kaling is one of us. Though she’s best known for her comedic work on The Office and The Mindy Project, Kaling is a huge genre fan. When she was growing up, she never felt those genres spoke to her directly. However, working on Ava DuVernay’s new Disney movie A Wrinkle In Time, she finally got to let her geek flag fly.
Mindy Kaling as Mrs Who in A Wrinkle In Time. Screenshot: Disney
“I loved science fiction and fantasy growing up, but it was a genre that largely did not love me back,” Kaling said at a press conference this weekend. “I never saw any representation that was a dark-skinned Indian woman, Indian girl or anybody in anything that I saw. It’s really a peculiar thing when you grow up loving something that shows you no love back. It’s such a pure love, because you’re not getting anything from it.”
As she began her career, Kaling found that love in comedy and television, which were both “welcoming” to her. It wasn’t until A Wrinkle in Time, though, that she finally felt some reciprocation from the genre she grew up with. And she hopes that love trickles down.
“To be part of this movie… to be on a green-screen stage, in harnesses, because you’re doing a science fiction fantasy movie, it’s so fun because I finally feel welcomed with open arms from something that’s ignored me completely,” Kaling said. “That is so profound and I think that can be something the miniature version of me could watch and be excited by. I think that’s a huge thing.”
Kaling plays Mrs Who, one of three celestial beings who travel across the galaxy to help a young girl find her lost father. The other two, Mrs Whatsit and Mrs Which, are played by Reese Witherspoon and Oprah Winfrey.
A Wrinkle In Time opens March 29.