EXCLUSIVE: Mindy Kaling Reveals What It Was Really Like Working with Emma Thompson on New Film ‘Late Night’

In case you missed it, Mindy Kaling and Emma Thompson are teaming up for what’s sure to be one of your favorite movies this year, a comedy called Late Night. Directed by Nisha Ganatra (Transparent) and penned by Kaling, the new film tells the story of a legendary TV host (Thompson) whose show is on the verge of cancellation. That all changes when she hires a female writer (Kaling) for the first time, and hilarity ensues.

The film, which was a Sundance festival favorite, hits theaters on June 7 and we can’t wait. We recently caught up with the star to chat about her involvement with Pour It Forward (an initiative that helps millions of people in the developing world gain access to clean water) and she spilled the beans about working with the super talented Thompson. 

“There are some people that I’ve worked with in my career, whether it’s Steve Carrell or Reese Witherspoon, that are really exciting because not only are they incredibly funny but they’re also so excellent at dramatic acting,” Kaling tells us. “So for Emma, she was in that really baller category of people that can do both.” 

And not only is Thompson a multifaceted actress but she’s also—no surprises here—incredibly thoughtful. “Emma is just one of those understanding, chill moms who is very much not into mom pressure or mom advice. But she gave my daughter these beautiful baby clothes when she was born from this little village in England and they were adorable—my daughter still wears them!”

Thompson’s character, Katherine Newbury, is the witty, tyrannical boss who may remind more than just a few viewers of a late-night Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada. And we had to ask—was Katherine inspired by anyone? “I pulled a lot of theatrical qualities from a lot of famous people in entertainment, so it’s not just one person that it’s based on but I think if you know a lot about that [late-night TV] world then you’ll be able to pinpoint parts of her personality.” 

Kaling even found inspiration for the sharp-tongued character from herself. “There are some parts of her character that are just me! As an employer, I’m impatient and I have a personality that I don’t always love and I really relate to [her character], which is a little embarrassing but true,” she revealed. 

Honestly, we’d take Mindy as our boss any day.

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Executive Editor

Alexia Dellner is an executive editor at PureWow who has over ten years of experience covering a broad range of topics including health, wellness, travel, family, culture and...