Art Streiber/GlamourFunny lady Mindy Kaling can easily recall her initial reaction to the long-running show "The Simpsons," which first aired when she was 10. "Growing up, I remember my parents feeling a little wary of 'The Simpsons,'" "The Office" actress/producer/writer reveals to Glamour. "This was the late eighties, and there was a wave of articles about TV shows that were bad for America. Then we all started watching it and loved it." Kaling, now 33, remains such a fan that she even posed as the animated family's matriarch for a photo shoot paired with her interview for the mag. "Marge Simpson is the one who's really funny," she says, explaining her girl crush. "Her character looks so crazy, but then she's supposed to be totally demure. I think ['Simpsons' creator] Matt Groening is a genius for giving her that hair."
Kaling says that since she first hit the airwaves on "The Office" in 2005, female characters as a whole have become better and are much more realistic. "It used to be that you had to make female TV characters perfect so no one would be offended by your 'portrayal' of women," she says. "Even when I started out on 'The Office' eight years ago, we could write our male characters funny and flawed, but not the women. And now, thankfully, it's completely different."
Alexei Hay/GlamourOne such flawed character will be Kaling's own on a sitcom that she's created, produced, written, and is starring in this fall, "The Mindy Project," on Fox. She plays an obstetrician/gynecologist trying to balance her work with her wacky love life. "My character is a really busy doctor who is kind of in a state of arrested development because she never had a chance to date." Beginning September 25, "The Mindy Project" will join Lena Dunham's "Girls," Whitney Cummings' "Whitney," Elizabeth Meriwether's "New Girl," and one of a small group of shows with a woman in charge. "There's a female writer-performer thing going on in TV right now," she notes. But do you think Kaling's show will make it?
Read the full interview with Kaling in the October issue of Glamour, on newsstands now.
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