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Mindy Kaling on Final Season of ‘The Mindy Project,’ Ike Barinholtz’s Neck Injury

The Mindy Project” is heading into its sixth-and-final season, which launches on Hulu this September, and to kick off the farewell tour, Mindy Kaling sat down with the press at the Television Critics Association press tour.

Kaling was joined by executive producer Matt Warburton and star Ike Barinholtz, who showed up to TCA in a full neck brace, just one day after news broke of him breaking his neck on the set of a film.

“I had a couple of weeks where it was kind of touch and go,” Barinholtz admitted about his health after he broke his neck. He said he called Kaling to tell her that he may not be able to perform to his full potential on “Mindy Project,” given the severity of his injury — and her response was to incorporate his injury into the show.

“She was instantly like, ‘We’re going to write it into the show, whatever you need. If you can’t do stuff, just tell me,'” Barinholtz recalled of their chat. “It was this really emotional phone call, and I kinda started crying, and then Mindy said, ‘Do you think it would be okay if Morgan broke his neck falling out of his bunk bed?'”

Warburton quipped, “We were very lucky that you have the funniest [looking] injury.”

Here’s what else we learned from the trio about the final season…

Expect lots of guest stars

Julie Bowen will guest star on an episode about “mom-shaming,” Kaling revealed, gushing about the “Modern Family” actress.

Chris Messina will also be coming back for multiple episodes. “We’ve been texting with him recently and wrote some really great stuff,” Kaling said, also noting that Adam Pally, Glenn Howerton, and the Duplass brothers will also appear in the final 10-episode season.

“It’s almost like every week, you’re going to have one more classic moment with a famous guest star,” Warburton teased.

All of your favorite characters will have their moment to shine

“I like in the final season of a show when you feel like all of the series regulars have an episode or a storyline dedicated to their character,” Kaling said, revealing that “The Mindy Project” will do just that.

Will Mindy Lahiri get her happily-ever-after?

Yes, she will — but maybe not in the most conventional sense of the phrase.

“I think that we do. We’re romantics,” Kaling said, adding, “I think that happily-ever-after can sometimes be romantic happiness, and sometimes it can be feeling a contentment about your life — your professional life and as a mother.”

Barinholtz praised the growth of Kaling’s character over the past five seasons. “The character Mindy Lahiri, we’ve watched her grow so much. The first season, she would consider marrying a Chris Evans body pillow,” Barinholtz said. “But now we’ve watched her grow…her perception of happiness has changed so much.”

The ending will satisfy fans, but won’t be tied up in a little bow

Kaling wasn’t interested in writing a “perfect” ending.

“That side of things, we’re trying to avoid,” she said, “while also making the audience feel like it was about something…and like she’s had some growth in the end.”

Could there be a spinoff?

Not right now. Kaling admitted that they did consider a spinoff because the decision to end “Mindy Project” was so hard, but then realized that doing a “prequel or something like that” wouldn’t make sense. “We just have such a good finale that we’ve known about for so long,” Kaling explained.

Warburton agreed on letting the finale shine, adding, “I don’t think we want anything to distract from the story that we’ve told beginning to end and let that breathe for awhile.”

Kaling has flown on Oprah Winfrey’s private jet

A reporter asked Kaling about another one of her projects, “A Wrinkle in Time,” in which she co-stars with Winfrey in the big-budget film that’s directed by Ava DuVernay.

Kaling revealed that Winfrey was extremely gracious and invited the cast to fly with her to shoot in New Zealand on “her Oprah jet,” as Kaling put it. While the jet was nice, Kaling said she was much more impressed with Winfrey and DuVernay’s work ethic.

“It was amazing to be around two women who are as successful and as powerful as them, and are also women of color,” Kaling raved.

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