“No one wonders what I’m like in real life, because they assume I am Kelly Kapoor,” writes Mindy Kaling about her character, an effervescent, celebrity-obsessed customer service representative, on NBC’s The Office. In her new book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), Kaling dishes about her childhood, breaking into television, and her experiences as a writer and producer. Here are 10 things from her book that you won’t learn from watching The Office.
You should probably read what John Hodgman thinks about wine, baseball and the end of the world.
1. To put it kindly, I am a very talkative, social person. To put it less kindly, I’m a flibberti-gibbert, which is what my frenemy Rainn Wilson calls me.
2. On things that she and Kelly Kapoor would both do: Drive with our parking brake on. Go on trendy and slightly dangerous diets. Hold a royal wedding viewing party.
3. A handful of bad experiences when I was small have made me a confirmed nonathlete. In psychology (okay, Twilight) they teach you about the notion of imprinting, and I think it applies here. I reverse-imprinted with athleticism.
4. On her teenage years: I was never the lead in the play. I don’t think I went to a single party with alcohol at it…It wasn’t until I was sixteen that I even knew marijuana and pot were the same thing.
5. Not to sound braggy or anything, but I kind of killed it in college. You know that saying “big fish in a small pond?” At Dartmouth College, I was freakin’ Jaws in a community swimming pool.
6. On her first job out of college: Working for a TV psychic was not what my parents envisioned after investing in my degree, but the job had health benefits, and this pleased my mother.
7. On the level of fame she’d like to achieve: I want to rock harem pants or black lipstick like Gwen Stefani does and have people be like, “That’s just Mindy,” and then everyone starts doing it.
8. I love romantic comedies. I feel almost sheepish writing that, because the genre has been so degraded in the past twenty years or so that admitting you like these movies is essentially an admission of mild stupidity.
9. I’ve enjoyed an endless supply of free paper, paperclips, envelopes, and office supplies since joining The Office, because I steal props on a regular basis.
10. With the exception of Japanese businessmen, no one likes karaoke more than I do.
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? is out this week.