Mindy Kaling was mistaken for Malala Yousafzai in The Boom Boom Room


I love Mindy Kaling. Maybe it’s because I’m half-Indian and I just like that there’s someone relatable (to me) in the celebrity world. And I do think Mindy is a legit celebrity – even people with a passing interest in celebrity gossip would know her, or at least know her as “that girl from The Office,” I would think. So I was reading her NYT profile this weekend, hoping there would be some good quotes to cover. The interview is barely there – it reads like a straight-up puff piece, although I lol’d when Mindy was choosing her outfit and she said: “I’m in a more-is-more mood. Like if George Clooney died and I were Amal, this is what I would wear to the funeral.” Then the NYT piece takes a really weird turn, just as Mindy and the journalist head to The Boom Boom Room:

After posing for more selfies, it was back into the Escalade, headed to the Top of the Standard, better known as the Boom Boom Room for a V.I.P. after-party for the festival.

Ms. Kaling walked into the packed bar, seeming slightly unsure of what she was doing there, less like a celebrity and more like a tourist. “Who are all these people?” she asked, looking out at the slightly bookish crowd, which included Zadie Smith, Malcolm Gladwell and David Remnick.

“Is this where the Beyoncé elevator incident happened?”

As she stood by the banquettes, a tipsy man in his 80s cornered her and showered her with compliments, apparently mistaking her for Malala Yousafzai. “Congratulations on your Nobel Prize,” he said, before expressing wonder at how well she had recovered from Taliban gunshots.

Ms. Kaling was speechless. “Did he really think I’m Malala?” she said when he was safely out of sight. “And that if I were, I’d be at the Boom Boom Room?”

Still, she thought it was pretty funny: “That’s the best thing that’s happened all night.”

[From The NYT]

Yes. A drunk guy thought a 35-year-old Indian-American writer/actress was a 17-year-old Nobel Peace Prize-winning Pakistani girl. There are no words. This has to be one of the most ridiculous things that has ever happened in a celebrity profile. Should we even bother being offended? Or should we just chalk this up to an extremely bizarre and funny encounter with a drunk guy?


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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22 Responses to “Mindy Kaling was mistaken for Malala Yousafzai in The Boom Boom Room”

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  1. Olivia says:

    SMDH. Unbelievable.

  2. Lori says:

    Its says the man was in his 80s. Perphaps if she was on the Big Bang theory he would know who she is.

  3. Lottie says:

    Her face looks gorgeous in that picture where she is wearing flannel. Wow.

  4. TX says:

    There’s no accounting for drunk people. I had someone literally argue with me that I was Brooke Hogan at a bar. I totally believe some drunk idiot made this mistake. It happens.

    • Snazzy says:

      OMG that’s amazing 🙂

    • Kip says:

      Maybe I’m hypersensitive today, but I still feel like this happened because our society finds it difficult to individuate “minorities” (read: people without white privilege) and to me the fact that the person who did this was drunk only strengthens that view.

      • Kiddo says:

        I’ll say this, the guy is old, not likely invested in youthful pop culture, plus drunk. The fact that he was familiar with a Nobel Peace Prize-winning Pakistani girl is, at least, hopeful, even if he was confused and unable to decipher, presumably, a person of a different ethnic background than himself.In my opinion, it’s better when people are familiar with real heroes and less familiar with TV stars.

      • Pepsi Presents...Coke says:

        ‘That’s about the size of it, Mrs. Fablo (sic)’

  5. Anne says:

    Gosh, that second picture of her is absolutely beautiful. I liked that piece. I loved when she added, “And that if were (Malala), I’d be at the Boom Boom Room?”

    One thing that really strikes me about Mindy is her confidence. She’s quite confident, isn’t she?

  6. Celia says:

    Well, drunk people have mistaken me for other people, too. One drunk guy wouldn’t believe I wasn’t his ex-girlfriend…

    • Dany says:

      2 years ago on a folk festival some drunken guy came to me smiling. He huggend me out of nowhere and called me “Jenny”. He was so confused he thought i´m one of his old friends. I told him i´m not his Jenny but he didn´t believe me…. Awkward moment

  7. Megan says:

    I love how she handled that. Reason 1,001 to love her.

  8. TTMuch says:

    Malcolm Gladwell was there? ? I would love to meet him. I haven’t seen Mindy Kaling’s show, but I’m pretty sure I would be able to differentiate between her and an incredibly famous 17 year old.

  9. Snazzy says:

    I’m indian too so having her out there is so great! Finally a celebrity that I can relate too! I made Mr Snazzy watch her show the other day, and he was just like: “wait, they wrote a show about you and all the stupid s**t you do? Are all indian girls like that?”


    thank you Mindy for being you – just keep at it 🙂

    • Erinn says:

      I’m not Indian, but I get a lot of side eyes when the Mr. and I are watching it. A lot of her arguments / terrible logic apparently are things I do/argue about. I just love Mindy. She’s fantastic and confident, and I really hope the show gets renewed for at least a few more seasons.

      I actually found a “Mindy is my spirit animal” tank on etsy. Still considering buying it haha.

  10. HughJass says:

    Don’t forget old. The drunk guy was old – from a different time. I remember my grandmother couldn’t tell the difference between Asian and Hispanic people, bless her heart.