• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Mindy Kaling reveals how she balances parenting with working, dishes on 'Legally Blonde 3'

·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — For many writers, the prospect of penning a sequel to one of the most beloved films of all time, on top of managing multiple writers' rooms, might be enough pressure to freeze them in their tracks.

For Mindy Kaling, it's just another day.

Speaking with USA TODAY at the Pendry West Hollywood hotel on Wednesday, Kaling, 43, barely had time to sit and relax after participating in a panel about her partnership with Zelle. Later that day, Kaling was expected at the writers' rooms of Netflix's "Never Have I Ever" and HBO Max's "The Sex Live of College Girls" (both of which she executive produces). She was also set to meet with "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" creator Dan Goor to discuss "Legally Blonde 3," which they're co-writing.

"In a good way, I'm not sort of allowed to have writers' block," Kaling says. "We just have deadlines, and you have to keep going. And that's the nature of TV. It works very well if you're impatient, and you just have to find a solution quickly."

Plus, working hard has been a staple of Kaling's TV career, which kicked off in 2005 with her turn as Kelly Kapoor on the hit sitcom "The Office."

"It's funny that I make it look easy, because I think the one constant in my life is how much effort I put into anything and how effortful my life has been," she says. "Because getting to a position where you're creating your own opportunities can be very hard and very challenging."

Mindy Kaling is the co-creator of HBO Max comedy "The Sex Lives of College Girls."
Mindy Kaling is the co-creator of HBO Max comedy "The Sex Lives of College Girls."

Mindy Kaling's 'Sex Lives of College Girls' is the best show that you're not watching

In addition to her rigorous work schedule, Kaling is also mom to her 4-year-old daughter Katherine and 1-year-old son Spencer.

Juggling parenthood with work can be tricky, but Kaling is grateful to have the help of a full-time nanny and two assistants. She also says her door is always open to her daughter whenever she's working from home.

"I'm always writing, but what's great is now I have an open door policy," she says. "Unless I'm on a work Zoom, she can come in (my room), and the nature of my job is that I can stop for five minutes and hang out with her for a little bit."

Over the course of her almost two-decade-long career, Kaling has seen firsthand how comedy has evolved since she started out. With social media sites like TikTok, she says up-and-coming comedians can face undue pressure to constantly post content in hopes of gaining exposure.

It's something she's thankful she never had to deal with.

"I grew up (with no) social media, so there wasn't this expectation that I needed to be putting stuff out there as a creator," she says. "That really benefited me, because I didn't have that pressure at 18, 19, 20, 22 to be doing anything but learning."

'Never Have I Ever': Mindy Kaling, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan break down that Season 2 love triangle

Mindy Kaling and Maitreyi Ramakrishnan attend as Netflix hosts a mobile truck pop-up activation in celebration of the launch of "NEVER HAVE I EVER" Season 2 on July 15, 2021 in New York City.
Mindy Kaling and Maitreyi Ramakrishnan attend as Netflix hosts a mobile truck pop-up activation in celebration of the launch of "NEVER HAVE I EVER" Season 2 on July 15, 2021 in New York City.

Mindy Kaling has 'newfound respect for stay-at-home moms' while quarantining with her toddler

Kaling's got a lot on her to-do list. One daunting project is "Legally Blonde 3," a sequel to the original 2001 film that catapulted Reese Witherspoon to fame. The film had another sequel, "Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde," in 2003.

The first two films saw Witherspoon's bubbly attorney Elle Woods in her twenties, but Kaling says she and  Goor have been imagining what Elle would be like in her forties for "Legally Blonde 3." Witherspoon, 46, is set to reprise her role in the sequel.

'What, like it's hard?': 'Legally Blonde' inspired a generation of law students to be themselves

"It's exciting, and it's intimidating because I think it's Reese's most iconic role," she says. "I'm used to things where I'm creating original characters and to adapt the tone of a previous hit movie, that's a great writing challenge for me."

Kaling aims to have a draft done this summer and send it off to Witherspoon.

"I just wanna make Reese happy," she says.

Then it's on to the next one.

Omigod, you guys: Mindy Kaling to co-write 'Legally Blonde 3,' Reese Witherspoon returning

Go deeper: The problem with ‘Legally Blonde’ and the ‘gotcha’ gay plot

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Mindy Kaling reveals she has this work-from-home policy with daughter