Following a wildly hilarious season one and two, The Mindy Project, written, produced, and starring Mindy Kaling, is back in full swing with its third season. In anticipation of the return of all-new episodes on Tuesday, November 4 (9:30 p.m. on FOX), we paid a visit to the show’s set to chat with the cast. Here’s what we learned:
Adam Pally Thinks Kaling is the ‘Beyoncé of Comedy’
“I love getting a chance to work with someone like Mindy,” says Adam Pally, who plays Dr. Peter Prentice on the show. “There aren’t many people like her. To me, it’s like working with the Beyoncé of comedy. You’re seeing someone who does it all and is still able to be super funny. It’s a joy.”
The Actors Serve as Inspiration For Their Characters
“These days, I’m so inspired by the actors,” says Kaling of her comedic muses. “Chris [Messina] is like a breathing inspiration for the Danny Castellano character. In talking to him as a writer and an observer, I notice so many things that I want to put into the character, and the same [thing] with Ike [Barinholtz]. He’s such a larger-than-life person that I love stealing parts of it to write for Morgan.”
Dressing Dr. Mindy Lahiri is a Dream Job
Costume designer Salvador Perez is the man behind Dr. Mindy Lahiri’s signature look: an eclectic mix of colors, textures, and prints, a style he describes as “collective hipster chic.” Ironically, Perez turned the job down at first. But after chatting with Kaling, he soon realized that The Mindy Project was less about wearing scrubs and lab coats and more about fashion.
The Show Has Been a Liberating Experience For Beth Grant
The Mindy Project’s Beverly, who is played by Beth Grant, keeps both the audience and the actress who plays her guessing as to what zany lines she’ll say next. The most liberating part about playing Beverly, though, was a certain line about masturbation. “I finally wrapped my head around it, embraced it, did it, and freed myself of that dark secret,” says Grant. “I’m finding that this show is freeing me as a human being and as an artist. Beverly has no restraint and so it gives me the freedom to say anything. I’m totally committed to her insanity.”
You Might Spot Beverly Wearing Dr. Mindy Lahiri’s Old Clothes
If you look closely, you’ll notice that Beverly is wearing some of Dr. Mindy Lahiri’s old clothes this season—a genius idea thought up by the show’s costume designer. “It’s just such a silly little secret, but every time I get in my wardrobe I think ‘Oh, I remember when [Mindy] wore this’ and I get so excited,” says Grant. They don’t know for sure if it will be worked into the story line, but if it is, it will surely garner lots of laughs.
It’s All Fun, All The Time On Set
“It’s work, but it feels more like fun than anything to me,” says Xosha Roquemore, who plays Tamra. “Especially when we do the big scenes all together. Those are the most fun because Mindy walks in and has an announcement and everyone’s already here and we all kind of chime in.”
There’s a Wild Rave Scene Coming Up
In an upcoming episode, guest star Allison Tolman plays Abby Berman, a historical romance novelist who’s set up with Pally’s character, Dr. Prentice. “The most fun we had [was when] we filmed a scene at a rave with lots and lots of extras and tutus, neon [colors], and fog,” says Tolman.“It was the closest I’ve come to being at an actual rave. It was a lot of fun.”
PHOTOGRAPHY BY EMILY SHUR/FOX (GROUP, KALING); ISABELLA VOSMIKOVA/FOX (KALING AND MESSINA); ADAM TAYLOR/FOX (WEEKS, PALLY)