Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
During an on-set visit to Fox‘s The Mindy Project as part of the TCA Summer Press Tour, the cast and producers revealed that Season 2 of the series will feature the returns of first-season guests Bill Hader, Anders Holm, Chloe Sevigny and James Franco. In addition, panelists confirmed that that the planned trip to Haiti introduced last season will indeed be part of the comedy’s storyline when it returns to the schedule September 17. “We thought it would be sort of lame if we didn’t go to Haiti, so we do,” said executive producer Matt Warburton today on Stage 34 of the Universal Studios lot. Star Mindy Kaling said the show has broken “7 or 8” episodes to date.
Speaking about how the show evolved in its first season, Kaling and other panelists said the choice was made to develop the romantic comedy aspects of the show rather than having Mindy evolve as a workplace comedy more like Kaling’s alma mater comedy The Office. Kaling had been quoted saying she wasn’t afraid to make her character unlikeable at times, but “as it turns out you shouldn’t be on TV and be like: “I want to be unlikeable’,” she joked. She called the expectation that TV women need to be more likeable than men “bullshit” and in need of a change. However, she said that her character evolved to meet an audience’s natural expectation that a series lead who is a doctor should be “someone you respect, and do noble acts.” Even though most comic actors want to do “edgy” these days, Kaling added, “it’s kind of, in its heart, not that kind of show.”
One hair-raising note: Although her character boldly cropped her hair in the season finale, “This is a wig,” Kaling assured her audience when she appeared-short-haired for today’s panel. She said she has kept her options open by not executing an Anne Hathaway-style chop on her own locks. “I have loved having the short hair”, Kaling said. “But my writing staff largely hates it.” She joked the staff was sure “if I cut my hair the show would take a turn for the worse”. She added: “I think I’m just going to let it grow out slowly over the first part of the year.”