Maybe you’re addicted (like we are) to The Mindy Project. Maybe you follow her random and hilarious thoughts on Twitter. Maybe you read her book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) or remember her as the delightfully vapid Kelly Kapoor on The Office. Chances are, if you love comedy, you have been following Mindy Kaling’s ascent.
The 34-year-old Fox star adroitly juggles being a sitcom creator, actor, TV writer, screenwriter, author, blogger, and aspiring director. (No wonder she allows herself only five hours of sleep a night.) And in this week’s cover story, Entertainment Weekly spotlights Kaling as part of our special New Hollywood issue.
Why does she wear so many hats? “My career has only become what it has out of sheer need, not because I wanted it that way. I knew if I wanted to perform I was going to have to write it myself,” she tells EW’s Jessica Shaw, who spent the day with Kaling, hanging out, observing her in the writers’ room, and going to out dinner with her and several of her best friends. “The dream is what I imagine Amy Adams’ life is. Someone calls and says, ‘Hi. David O. Russell wants you to do this part.’ Ultimately I’m very happy with the way it worked out, but I don’t think it’s my first choice for every role do to have to write it. I guess I could play the lame, nagging friend of the beautiful white protagonist, but I’m neither going to have as much fun nor make as much money doing that.”
Beyond Kaling, EW’s New Hollywood Issue also highlights the 50 most exciting and creative talents currently blowing up the industry. We talked to the hottest actors, filmmakers, showrunners, producers, authors, musicians, comedians, and costume designers who have rocketed onto the scene—or radically redefined their place in pop culture—in the last year (or so). What’s on Shailene Woodley’s career bucket list? What was Michael B. Jordan’s most thrilling celebrity encounter? What’s the worst career advice Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany ever received? What was the role that changed everything for Joseph Gordon-Levitt?
Watch Mindy’s tips for making it in Hollywood below!