Mindy Kaling is returning to The Office — albeit briefly.
The actress says she’s going to have an opportunity to say goodbye to Kelly Kapoor on the NBC comedy this fall.
Kaling, of course, is starring in her own new comedy, The Mindy Project, on Fox this fall. But she told reporters at the Television Critics Association’s semi-annual press tour Monday that she believes she’ll appear in at least one episode of her old show. “I think I’m going to be in the premiere and maybe another episode,” she says. “That was big. I got attached to that character. It’s fun to see what’s going to happen to Kelly.”
Kaling also made a distinction between her Mindy Project character and Kapoor. “The Office in so many ways is about disguising your reactions because its a mock documentary,” she said. “In some ways, this [show] is a reaction to that.”
The actress revealed that Office co-creator Greg Daniels will direct an episode of Mindy Project during its first season.
“It’ll be great, ‘Who’s the boss now?'” she said, making one of a couple jokes about her newfound star status. “I’m the star of my own show that has my name on it,” she said. “I’m going to turn into a monster. I can’t handle it.”
Kaling repeatedly expressed how fortunate she feels to have her own show, and noted her New Girl lead-in’s star, Zooey Deschanel, is “charm on a plate.”
As an OB/GYN who struggles to find romance, Kaling’s Mindy Project character references Nora Ephron comedies, and the show plays off the differences between her expectations on how romance should work and how it tends to work out in real life. Kaling said that despite Ephron’s influence on the show, particularly in the pilot, her passing won’t be referenced. “Nora’s passing was so devastating for us,” she says. “We want to pay homage by [my] character’s love for romantic comedy … but I don’t know about mentioning her in such an overt way.”
One critic pointed out that although the show mocks the romantic comedy formula, relying on the professional-woman-who-can’t-find-love cliché isn’t necessarily a bad thing either. “[A] formula isn’t bad if it’s executed at high level,” Kaling said, “there’s something cozy about that.”