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Autumn deWilde

Comedy queen Mindy Kaling hangs out with American Way and proves she’s just as humorously clever as we thought. (Just follow her on Twitter if you don’t believe us.)

Hanging Out with Mindy Kaling

There’s more to Kaling than meets the eye. Here, she shares a few surprising facts about herself.
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Everett Collection
Favorite TV show
The Cosby Show. I liked it when I was younger because it involved kids and wasn’t too raunchy.

Favorite comedians
Chris Rock and Louis C.K.

What are you reading right now?
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

Dream vacation
I love the lights in Washington, D.C. — I’d love to do a movie there — but Bali and Goa are also on the list.

What do you never travel without?
A gold necklace from India from my parents’ 30th wedding anniversary

Worst job you’ve ever had?
I worked in a video store as a teenager and kids would come in and pay in pennies.

Favorite indulgence
Australian red licorice. I can eat bags of it; it’s so good.

Favorite Office episode
Season 2: “The Secret.” Michael has to try to keep a secret, and it’s hysterical.
American Way: Your book is a delightful assortment of life observations, fears and opinions. What made you decide to pen a collection of mini-memoirs?
Mindy Kaling: I’d been working on them for a while — over a year — and thought it was time. This was a way for me to share things that I think are funny, things that happen to me in everyday life, that others might be able to relate to.

AW: Can we expect more books from you in the future?
MK: I hope so! It was a lot of fun to write.

AW: You’ve been called an entirely “original and of-the-moment” performer. Do you feel of-the-moment? Did you always know you wanted to make people laugh?
MK: I’d like to think I’m of-the-moment, and, sure, I’ve always enjoyed making people smile. I was a classics and playwriting major in college, so it luckily sort of all came together.

AW: Let’s talk Twitter: You have more than 1.5 million followers and are wildly popular among fans and fellow celebrities. What do you like about the medium? Who are your favorite people to follow?
MK: I love Twitter. For a comedian, there’s really no better space to test out jokes and see how they’re received. It’s a great place to experiment. Louis C.K. (@louisck) is hysterical to follow, and I also really love following my friends @HelloGiggles. They’re fun girls. And LeBron James!

AW: You grew up near Boston and now live in L.A. Are you an East or West Coast woman at heart?
MK: It varies. [Laughs.] When I’m on the East Coast, I miss the West Coast, and vice versa. I guess I want the best of both worlds.

AW: People know you best as your character Kelly Kapoor from The Office. What do you love most about her?
MK: One of the things I love most about Kelly is that she’s real. And sure, people tend to really love Jim and Pam, but one great thing about Kelly is her relationship with Ryan; there’s something so genuine about it. I feel like in life, I know so many people who end up with the person that they have been on and off with for years, not necessarily the person that they take one look at and it’s love at first sight and perfect. Kelly and Ryan are so imperfect, and I think it makes them both more relatable.
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AW: Rumor has it that you have a crush on Ricky Ricardo. Care to explain?
MK: Yes! I love Desi Arnaz. Think about it — here was this handsome guy with a foreign accent, and he was doing comedy! He wasn’t goofy-looking. Today, an agent would suggest he take on more serious roles because he was so good-looking. But no, he chose to do comedy, and he was embraced.