First Person/Mindy Kaling

Funny girl

In a new memoir, Cambridge’s own Mindy Kaling, 32, dishes on life before and after landing on The Office.

Photograph by Autumn Dewilde
Photograph by Autumn Dewilde

Your book of essays, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, is the single woman’s answer to Tina Fey’s Bossypants. So what are you reading yourself these days? I’m terrifying myself by reading Jaycee Dugard’s memoir. I need breaks, though, so I have Jane Lynch’s, too.

> What were some of your favorite haunts growing up around Boston? [Mr.] Bartley’s in Harvard Square. Their onion rings are incredible. I always wanted a burger named after me. My dad took my brother and me to the New England Mobile Book Fair in Newton almost every weekend. I also spent a ton of time in the Burlington Mall’s Lord & Taylor. My mom and aunts love it! But the secret is they have great clothes for hipsters, too.

> And now? When I come to visit, my mom, dad, aunt and uncle, and I go to Newbury Street for a massive two-hour lunch at Stephanie’s. Actually, their onion ring tower is a must-eat, too. I guess I know where all the good onion ring places are in Greater Boston.


> Have you made it back to any high school reunions at Buckingham Browne & Nichols? I have not! I missed my 10-year because I was shooting The Office.

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> So what crossed your mind when you found out you had gotten hired as a TV staff writer? My first thought was: “Finally! My parents can stop paying my car and health insurance!”

> Any predictions for the show’s life span? I hope The Office continues for an eternity, like ER, or more ambitiously, 60 Minutes. I want Ed Helms to be doing this until he’s Andy Rooney’s age.

> What will you do when it ends? I’m working on two comedy pilots for NBC, which have acting parts for me. I’d also like to go on a trip with my parents – maybe a cruise to Alaska.

> Do you have a fantasy movie project? I am the star, my wardrobe is haute couture, the writer is Aaron Sorkin, and Colin Firth and Mark Wahlberg are fighting over me. I don’t think anyone would want to see that but me. It is really science-fiction.


> Where do you see yourself 10 years from now? Hopefully extremely rich and very thin.