Mindy Kaling isn’t just hopeful that Hollywood is changing in the era of #MeToo and Time’s Up — the “Ocean’s 8” star says she’s already noticing a positive shift toward gender parity.
“I’ve seen an enormous amount of change,” Kaling told Variety at the Palisades Village opening gala in Los Angeles, adding, “I’m noticing that even in hiring, that before you used to have to convince people, ‘Hey, the crew need to be like 50% diverse in some way, or ‘The show needs to reflect diversity.’ It used to be convincing people, and now you don’t have to convince people. They know. I don’t know whether it’s fear of being shamed publicly or litigation, but whatever it is, it’s working.”
Kaling didn’t always think the change would come. “Even just transparency of wages, it’s like, whoa, it won’t happen in my daughter’s lifetime. It’ll be in my lifetime,’’ she said. “I might have equal pay parity to other white male showrunners who’ve created as many shows as I have.”
Speaking of creating shows, Kaling is relocating from her home in L.A. to London for Hulu’s “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” a limited series adaptation of the iconic 1994 British romantic comedy of the same name. The new series will follow the romance between an African American woman and a British-Pakistani man.
“We’re doing the casting right now,” said Kaling, who is writing and executive producing with Matt Warburton. “There are many, many millions of people who would be very interested in seeing two good looking people who aren’t traditionally portrayed on TV as in falling in love.”
“And as someone who’s been in exclusively interracial romances, I think it’s fun to write for them,” she added. “It’s been very interesting to me that it’s considered radical now to do an international casting call for funny, good looking people in their late 20s and people coming up to me and saying, ‘Thank you for writing this role for me.’ The thing is, this isn’t a ‘charity’ project. Everyone is smoking hot, and the stories are juicy.”
The 1994 movie, directed by Mike Newell and written by Richard Curtis, starred Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell. The cast also included Kristin Scott Thomas, James Fleet, Simon Callow, John Hanna, Corin Redgrave and Rowan Atkinson. It earned Oscar nominations for best picture and best original screenplay.