Not cool! Before becoming a red carpet guru, Mindy Kaling had a fashion faux pas while attending the 40-Year-Old Virgin premiere — but it wasn’t her fault.
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In Judd Apatow’s new book, Sicker in the Head: More Conversations About Life and Comedy, the Mindy Project creator, 42, recalled being tricked into wearing jeans to the Los Angeles event in 2005 by a former Office coworker.
“I didn’t know you’re supposed to hire a stylist for the movie premiere,” Kaling told Apatow, 54, in the book, which is a collection of interviews by the filmmaker. “I had a frenemy at The Office, and I asked this person, ‘Hey, what do you wear to a premiere?’ And they said to me, ‘Oh, just wear jeans and a T-shirt. It’s L.A. so nobody really gets dressed up for these things.’”
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The Why Not Me? author remembered thinking, “OK, cool,” and chose to follow the person’s advice. The 40-Year-Old Virgin, which Apatow directed, was Kaling’s first major film role. She played Amy, the ex-girlfriend of Paul Rudd’s character, David.
“I didn’t want to seem thirsty wearing a gown while everyone was dressed down. So, I showed up in a tank top and jeans with some earrings, and everyone there looked so good,” the Sex Lives of College Girls creator explained. “They had been styled to perfection — and I was like, ‘I’ve been f—king duped by this frenemy of mine.’ That … felt like a missed opportunity, and then after that, I became really into fashion.”
Kaling didn’t reveal the identity of her former work “frenemy,” instead she told Apatow why she can’t watch herself in the 2005 comedy that starred her Office costar Steve Carell.
“It feels like I had this great opportunity and I blew it, because I didn’t know what it was like to be on camera. I only shot for two days, but I have two really vivid memories of that movie,” the Ocean’s Eight actress revealed in the book. “One was that I was sitting across from Paul Rudd, who, for the record, is ten years older than me but now looks fifteen years younger than me, so that I don’t love.”
Kaling detailed an awkward moment in which she was supposed to be talking to Rudd, 52, but instead started looking into the camera. Because of her split focus, Apatow had to come over to the actress and remind her where to look.
“I didn’t even know I had been doing it. I was just so nervous — I couldn’t believe that I’d been picked to do this with all these funny people,” the A Wrinkle in Time star continued. “The second memory was in Video Village, and it was you and Seth [Rogen] and Paul and Elizabeth Banks, and you all had such a great rapport. I didn’t want to seem like I was hovering and trying to laugh along, so I sat a couple of rows back and watched you guys. I love the movie, but whenever that scene comes up, I fast-forward through it.”
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The Never Have I Ever writer has upped her fashion game since her 2005 jean debacle. In fact, Kaling now shares her style snaps via social media, including a swimsuit photo shoot in September 2020.
Earlier this week, she stepped out for the Oscars in Hollywood and slayed the Vanity Fair Oscar Party red carpet. “I love the movies!” the Massachusetts native wrote via Instagram on Sunday, March 27, debuting her bold yellow and silver Dolce and Gabbana gown.
She later showed off her slim figure in a sexy black Dion Lee dress and Andrea Wazen heels. “I promise this is my last thirst trap pic from this weekend! Now we can go back to videos of me cooking meatloaf or whatever,” she wrote via social media on Tuesday, March 29.
Apatow’s Sicker in the Head is out now.
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