The Daily Forward: The first scene in The Mindy Project in season three is when you, Mindy Kaling, are treated for breast cancer. How did you prepare for the role?
Mindy Kaling: I went to a community theater where I got trained for it. That was the first preparation I had done.
The Daily Forward: Do you have a history of making dark, edgy comedies?
MD: I started out as a stand-up comedian. Comedy is comedy.
The Daily Forward: Do you feel similar to Mindy and her daughter in some ways?
MD: When I did it at a community theater, I was crazy about these characters. Once you establish these characters as real people, you never have to do it again because there is something about that connection that keeps you wanting to tell those stories.
The Daily Forward: After the Oscars, talk about your personal experiences with disability. Have you ever felt marginalized?
MD: If you’re of color in the US, everything is different.
The Daily Forward: How have you been inspired in your job as a stand-up comedian by stand-up comics like Bill Cosby?
MD: Bill Cosby is a monster, a monster. He is an addiction. I think about him every single day. It is the worst thing I have ever heard about someone.
The Daily Forward: How do you handle talking about your own experience as a Jewish person of color?
MD: I don’t like to use racial jokes. Those can become ghetto, or stereotype, or just very narrow-minded, very narrow-eyed. These come out in very broad language and not nuance, so I leave it out.
The Daily Forward: So you don’t want to be shamed for being well integrated into mainstream society?
MD: I want people to be like, “Yeah, that’s a normal person.”