MINDY KALING AT THE BOOK PARTY FOR IS EVERYONE HANGING OUT WITHOUT ME? AND OTHER CONCERNS AT THE TORY BURCH BOUTIQUE LAST NIGHT. PHOTO COURTESY OF PATRICKMCMULLAN.COM
There may only be one woman in America who could bring together Ira Glass, Michelle Trachtenberg, Christian Siriano, and Samantha Ronson at a party in her honor: Emmy-nominated The Office writer, actress, and producer Mindy Kaling, who did just that at Tory Burch’s Upper East Side boutique last night. The fête in question was to celebrate Kaling’s very funny new book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), out yesterday. In it, Kaling makes much of her awkward formative years; but at the party, she was every bit the elegant guest of honor. We snagged her to chat about friendship responsibilities and our favorite Office enigma.
ALEXANDRIA SYMONDS: You’re at a fancy party with a bunch of great people, all here to celebrate you—do you feel like the question in your book title has been laid to rest?
MINDY KALING: Oh, this is just one night. There are 364 other nights of the year. Let’s see if they all turn up here tomorrow night to see me.
SYMONDS: I wanted to ask about your “Best Friend Rights and Responsibilities,” which I saw excerpted—they’re very funny. Is there any one that you find particularly difficult to uphold?
KALING: I think sometimes it’s hard for me to—there’s one rule where friends have to pick up responsibilities. That’s very hard for me, because when I go on vacation, I kind of take advantage of my friends and want them to do everything for me.
SYMONDS: Is there anything, now that the book has been published, that you wish you could have added?
KALING: There’s more photos. There’s more goofy photos from my Blackberry that I would definitely put in. SYMONDS: It seems like you’re sort of the designated “girl crush” for lady bloggers.
KALING: What a nice thing to say! Thank you.
SYMONDS: It’s true! It’s a phenomenon. How does that feel? Is it a weird thing?
KALING: When people call me either a girl crush or their best friend, like, the best friend they want, that’s, to me, the best compliment anyone could ever give me.
SYMONDS: Is there anything you’re able to say right now about the romantic comedy you have in the works?
KALING: It’s in what they call “development hell,” so who knows. If it gets out of there, then great! I’ll have more talk to you about. But I don’t want to give anyone any false hopes about it.
SYMONDS: You can feel free to say as much as you feel comfortable with about this, but I have to ask—what is up with Robert California [James Spader’s character on The Office]? What’s his deal?
KALING: I think it’s a—we’re kind of just discovering it, and we’ll find a little bit more about his back story in the Christmas episode, which I wrote, which is going to air in early December.
SYMONDS: Oh, that’ll be amazing.
KALING: Good, I hope you like it! Ed Helms directed it. He did a great job. And [Robert California] has a big part in it. So we do find out more about him; he’s more three-dimensional.
KALING’S PUBLICIST: I was so worried about what you were going to ask. [to Kaling] Weren’t you?
KALING: “What do you think about abortion?” [laughs]
IS EVERYONE HANGING OUT WITHOUT ME? (AND OTHER CONCERNS) IS OUT NOW. THE OFFICE AIRS AT 9 PM THURSDAYS ON NBC.