9 Best Moments From 'The Mindy Project' Cast At PaleyFest
The last time we saw The Mindy Project, the comedy ended on a pretty hefty cliffhanger between our favorite characters Mindy and Danny—and then fans had to endure a painfully long mid-season hiatus. So, it was a treat to see the Shulman & Associates cast reunite on stage for the show's panel at PaleyFest on Tuesday at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, just in time for the comedy's return to Fox on April 1. LAist was at the event and picked out some of our favorite moments—from the story behind Danny's awkward Christmas dance to what's in store for Danny and Mindy's relationship:
1. Comparing The Office's Jim and Pam to The Mindy Project's Mindy and Danny: Sure, we've got longing office romances here in both comedies, but the creators and cast feel the two couples are different. "Jim and Pam, their love was beautiful and pristine and sacred, and they were like-minded and they were very young," Mindy Kaling said. "[Our] kiss was more in my mind passion and lust pent up, more than 'I love you' feelings."
2. Chris Messina's Lack of Social Media Knowledge: The cast members spent a good portion of the night poking fun at Messina's fear of technology and quizzed him on the basics. When asked what Twitter is, Messina said, "Like a... text message." And on Tinder, he responded, "It's like Twitter but with some photos." Nailed it.
3. Is Mindy Kaling or Ike Barinholtz a Better Kisser? When Messina was grilled on who was the better kisser, he said, "Ike has great, soft lips, but Mindy's a fantastic kisser." This promptly angered Barinholtz (who portrays Morgan on the comedy) and he stomped around the stage in a circle.
4. What's in Store for the Rest of Season 2: We'll be getting eight episodes for The Mindy Project that will be treated like a mini-series. (Fans will also get to see back-to-back episodes in the first two weeks the show returns to TV.) Although we all want the best for Mindy and Danny, it sounds like it's going to be rocky between them. Executive Producer Matt Warburton told the audience to expect "more bumps in the road" and that "it's going to play out like a rollercoaster straight through." On a high note though, he promised more flavors of Danny's Doctor Dan's beer in future episodes.
5. How Beth Grant is Just as Quirky as Her Character Beverly: Grant loves how strange the character she plays is: "I grew up in the South and I’m so repressed—and I still am," she said. "It’s so freeing to say something weird and dark and strange."
In addition, all the guest stars on the show were drawn to her. Kaling noted how when James Franco was on the comedy (and is a "noted weirdo"), he only "lit up" when he saw Grant. Barinholtz also noted that when Workaholic's Anders Holm guested, he wouldn't pitch any funny lines to the other show's actors except for Grant. He said Holm would say stuff like, "It would be funny if Beth came out and was like 'wassuuuup?!'"
6. Relationship Between Tamra and Morgan Developing: “We accelerate in a very pleasing way, the relationship between Tamra and Morgan," Kaling said. Kaling also made the decision to have Morgan almost completely naked and Tamra fully clothed in an upcoming kissing scene. "Xosha is a beautiful model and we would get high ratings if she were to wear a bikini—but we kept her in her scrubs," said Kaling.
"Tamra’s kind of into like pale creeps," Xosha Roquemore, who plays Tamra, added.
7. On Writing for Danny's Character: "He's so appealing but the joke comes from him being lame and an old man," Warburton said of Danny. "These jokes [are like] where he's playing an 80-year-old man and a World War II survivor."
Barinholtz adds that it's the uncomfortable lines Danny has to deliver that make him special, and because the character's so charming, he gets away with it. Barinholtz mentioned the scene where Mindy tells Danny, "When my mom was my age, she was already married," to which Danny replies, "Yeah, but she was probably a child bride. It’s all messed up over there."
Kaling's favorite characters include Jack Donaghy of 30 Rock. "The death of comedy is political correctness," she said.
8. Danny's Epic Dance: In the "Christmas Sex Trap" episode, Danny does an amazing dance to Aaliyah's "Try Again" as a gift to Mindy. (And yes, a fan tried to play the song on her iPhone during the panel, but Messina wouldn't dance after teasing us a bit.)
"My mom was a dance teacher," Messina said. "I got beat up most of the time [because of it]. I wanted to take karate when I was a kid, but she said, 'No, you’re going to dancing school.'"
He added: "When [the writers] first presented it [the dancing scene] to me, I was extremely nervous and mad that I told them that I could dance. But I thought it was a really fresh and original and romantic thing to come up with."
9. On the Ultimate Guest Star: Kaling said she would love for Messina's good friend Sam Rockwell (!) to guest star on the show, but she would want to make them hate each other. The panel's moderator Jarett Wieselman of BuzzFeed suggested she have the two do a dance off.
Yes, that would be our dream. Let's hope they make it happen!