Mindy Kaling covers InStyle, talks her ‘weird as hell’ relationship with BJ Novak

mindy instyle

I’m not sure what surprises me more, that Mindy Kaling covers the new issue of InStyle or that InStyle didn’t Photoshop her into oblivion. Here is a perfectly attractive woman who is NOT a size zero and… she looks like herself on a magazine cover. It’s a miracle! Anyway, this interview was done before Fox canceled The Mindy Project, but I get the feeling that Mindy knew the ax was coming (why else would she have gone to Montana for a break?). She talks a bit about TMP’s struggles, plus her weird relationship with BJ Novak, etc. Some highlights:

Her relationship with her ex, BJ Novak: “I will freely admit: My relationship with B.J. Novak is weird as hell. He is not my boyfriend, but he is not my best friend. I guess you could describe our relationship as a ‘romantically charged camaraderie with loud arguments,’ but I don’t think Facebook would accept this as a new status.”

The idea of marriage: “I don’t have a particular urge to get married. But I do know with certainty that I want to have kids, because my relationship with [my mom] was so special.”

Starting TMP just after her mom died: “I was very lucky that the show started up at that time so I could just throw myself into it and distract myself. But the truth is, even though it’s been three years, it still feels like it just happened. I remember the sound of her voice so distinctly.”

Her diva moments: “My diva moments are more tied to panicky worry. [My assistant] will have prepared everything for a day and then that morning, I wake up and I’m like, ‘I don’t want to do any of that; it has to be completely different.’ But I don’t throw hairbrushes at people or anything like that. I haven’t gotten there yet.”

Her style: “I think I’m very susceptible [to other people’s style]. We’ll have someone like Laura Dern on the show, and I’ll see what she’s wearing, and I’m just like, ‘Okay, well, that’s obviously the way you should dress.’ Or I’ll meet some cool actress who only wears Helmut Lang and Vince, and I’m like ‘Ugh! That looks amazing and chic and everything coordinates with everything and I need to get, like, a ratty T-shirt.’ I love fashion and I love clothes.”

[From People & E! News]

I always kind of worry about BJ Novak and Mindy’s relationship. Yes, I’ve spent too much time thinking about it. I think they were in love at one point and maybe they were too young or maybe he just tapped out because it got too “real.” I feel like ever since they broke up, they’ve both had regrets about it. I also kind of think that their relationship isn’t that healthy? Like, Mindy hasn’t been able to fully move on to another serious relationship because BJ is always there. Like, he doesn’t want to date her again but he doesn’t want anyone else to date her either. That’s just how I read it.



Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet and InStyle.

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56 Responses to “Mindy Kaling covers InStyle, talks her ‘weird as hell’ relationship with BJ Novak”

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  1. Anita says:

    Mindy looks gorgeous! I adore her show-I really hope hulu saves it!

    Re B.J., it does seem a bit unhealthy…it must be hard for a guy to compete with him, abd the rship they have. It sounds like their rship is a lot like the rship B.J. had with Eva Amurri in the show-where everyone can see they are meant to be together, except for them.

    • Boopybettes says:

      I see BJ maybe fertilizing an egg of Mindy’s that a surrogate will carry. Ha. They should have one of those My Best Friend’s Wedding’s type agreements: if you’re not seriously involved by this time, let’s do this. Seriously, if they don’t do this they will regret it as I think they’d make awesome co-parents of an awesome and funny, bright kid. They need to make it happen.

      Also I so agree with this cover…I can’t believe they didn’t lighten Mindy to a Halle Berry cafe au lait and shrink her size to a 2. She’s herself here and that’s great.

      Also, yay for no mentions of her racist bro who wants a gig on faux news.

  2. Shambles says:

    “Like, he doesn’t want to date her again but he doesn’t want anyone else to date her either.”
    This might sound silly, but it reminds me of a Chuck and Blair storyline from Gossip Girl. Chuck decides he wants to keep pushing Blair away and he’s still not ready to tell her he loves her, yet he’s still around every corner, putting himself in her life. Real life or GG, I feel for Mindy because that’s a really confusing and unfair situation to be in. On a superficial note, I’m in love with that cover dress.

    • Rhiley says:

      It kind of reminds me of the Ryan and Kelly storyline from the Office. I bet he is kind of a douche control freak. He doesn’t want to be with her, but he also doesn’t want her to be without him. He needs to get out of the way and let her move on. It seems like she is ready, but yeah, he is right there.

    • Rocket says:

      I really think you guys are misreading the situation. I think Mindy is a grade A clinger. Does she have zero gfs? Why havent they told her to stop dropping these little quotes about him? Firstly it makes her sound like a clinger. Secondly it makes things very awkward for potential SOs and the future of this friendship. Frankly, If I were dating BJ I would ask him to cut her off, an ex who is happy to go on Howard Stern to call another womans bf her soulmate is dangerous……..and very selfish/seriously lacking self awareness.

      As for the breakup its clear from both of them that they have a very unhealthy relationship in that they fight alot and it sounds like thats why he dumped her. This is all on Mindy. She has one of those bull crap “but he is my soul mate” mentalities and at the same time an ugly propensity for drama. So now shes stranded between “I cant live with him but cant live without him” which sh broadcasts to the world because once again she lacks self awareness. If I were her friend I would tell her to have a seat.

      • Shambles says:

        @ Rocket, I was simply speculating and making connections based on the narrative that Kaiser imagined for Mindy and BJs relationship. I don’t really understand the serious hate for Mindy in your comment. I don’t think any of us know for sure what goes on in their relationship since we’re on the outside looking in, so it seems pretty unfair of you to call her a “grade A clinger” and say that the breakup is “all on Mindy.”

      • Rocket says:


        I dont know how you read hate there. It certainly isnt intended that way. But I have spent the last few years following Mindys interviews and tweets. I wont lie, I am disappointed in her over squandered opportunities on TMP but thats a story for a TMP post. She does come off as very very clingy on twitter. I cant tell you the number of times I have seen her send him a public flirty tweet. One time he was apparently on vacation (with his gf at that time altho not sure if that was confirmed) and she sends him continous cutesy “I miss you” public tweets until he responded. Either she doesnt know how to send DMs or she WANTS people to know that shes hang up on him. Shes in her thirties for goodness sake, why hasnt she figured these things out yet? The woman needs an intervention.

      • Burgher says:

        You nailed it!

      • annanuna says:

        if you follow their relationship, BJ send a lot of public flirty tweets more than Mindy, you just hate Mindy

      • Snowbunny says:

        If she’s flirting and putting out those kind of vibes it’s pretty obvious she’s not over him. If he has a gf, then he’s moved on. She could waste years waiting for him, which kinda seems like what she’s doing. I like her and she deserves to be happy.

      • Leona says:

        I know nothing of twitter but I do know that she drops his name way too much in interviews. Personally I suspect that she uses him to make herself seem more interesting because I just cant see what else she could hope to accomplish with this strategy.

      • Livealot says:

        @Rocket – you’re so right and I cut off a girlfriend that was trying to give me the same tough love while I was in some sort of “tragic romance” with a douche. I end up losing her and was devastated. I NEVER “lose” friends and probably like Mindy, thought I was too smart to get caught up and play myself. Wrong. Girls just set themselves up for failure entangled in mess like that…well except for KAte Middleton.

      • annanuna says:

        @leona again, if you follow their relationship, BJ drops Mindy name way too much in interviews, It’s so easy to blame the woman and Mindy more popular than BJ. He used Mindy to promote his new book

      • Rocket says:


        Lol. No I dont hate Mindy. If anything I doggedly stayed on board the Mindy train even as much of her initial fan base left. I’m just not blinded to how messy she is with this BJ business and the myriad of diversity issues on TMP.

      • Ann says:

        Did she really send those tweets to her ex while he was vacationing with his gf? Wow, get thyself some manners!

      • claire says:

        It’s weird to focus just on Mindy. BJ does the EXACT same thing. He tells interviewers she’s his soulmate, he tweets her cutesy things, etc. It is definitely NOT all Mindy that exhibits these behaviors.

      • Ann says:

        That’s some serious self-sabotaging codependent dysfunction right there. I like them both, smart workaholics, but grow up, kids!

      • Rocket says:


        I wasnt aware of the BJ soul mate quote but found it below

        Now I want slap some logic into them both. The emotional immaturity here is mind boggling. Ironically, they may actually be the best cautionary tale against consuming too much media in the romance genre. Brain turned to mash clearly.

      • annanuna says:

        @rocket bjkaling.tumblr

      • claire says:

        @Rocket: yeah, that’s why I was surprised you went all out on Mindy. BJ is seriously just as bad. I mean he’s the one that said in an interview just a year and a half ago or so: The main reason I’m reluctant to get married to Mindy is that every single person in our lives and Twitter feeds would say, ‘I knew it.’ I just couldn’t fucking deal with that. But we know. We know what’s there.

        They’re both totally unable to quit each other. And it’s on him if he dates and is still flirting with her. Personally, I think they’ll eventually settle down with each other for a more committed relationship.

      • Chichi says:

        I think a woman in her mid thirties should know better than to keep airing this stuff out in public. I can only hope its a PR gimmick as suggested by another poster below. I dont know how he could be leading her on, shes a grown woman. If you hang out with a man for a decade and he isnt trying to commit to you then Mindy sweetheart let me introduce you to Ciara…….
        “If that man dont love you by noooow.
        He will never ever love you x2

        Theres an age after which you just cant blame a guy for keeping you in limbo and that age is 22.

      • Rocket says:


        Yeah I get you now, they are definitely both contributing to the mess. But I also agree with Chichi, if after ten years they havent figured out how to be together then its time to pack it up. They just need to cut all contact (which should be easier now that she no longer has to work with his bro on TMP), live in different cities if thats what it takes and for Gods sake stop flashing their dirty laundry. Its all fun and games now but when he marries or has a kid with the girls hes seen out with, I foresee Mindy having a mega breakdown.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Do you follow her or him on their social media? They are together ALL THE TIME. So if she is a “grade A clinger”, then so is he.

        I find her and BJ’s behavior so similar, yet it is interesting how commenters reframing as if she is chasing him. Seems to be a bit influenced from a patriarchal society, imo.

      • Rocket says:


        I’ve retracted the clinger comment now that I’ve seen the Tumblr stuff. I agree now that they are as bad as each other. I have to stay on Mindys case though, because I neither know nor care about BJ, whereas I actually want to see her get it together. Afterall I clicked ona Mindy article and I know for sure I wouldnt have bothered with BJ.

  3. It is what it is says:

    Love Mindy!! And if Novak doesn’t understand how great she is (honestly I’ve always thought he’s annoyed she’s more successful than he, based on his book) then she should just walk away

  4. Debbie says:

    I don’t know I’ve gotten the feeling over the years that bj is the one completely in love with her. She’ll talk about it more because it seems easier for her, for him it seems harder plus the way he looks at her in interviews and pictures. I mean what do I know but I get that feeling.

    She looks so pretty in this cover shoot. I know people like to focus on her and bj (they are adorable) but I think there is something so heartbreaking about the way she mentions her mom. I can’t imagine not having my mom and I think it explains why we haven’t seen her parents on the show. Has to be hard to think about playing.

    I hope it gets picked up by Hulu TMP is one of the two shows I watch.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      The part about her mother touched me, too. I’m so lucky to still have my mom at my age, and I thought your observation about having her parents on the show was really smart. I hadn’t thought of that, but it would probably be painful for her.

    • Eme says:

      I am a bit younger than Mindy and I have already lost my parents. I loved what she said about her mom. It made me cry.

      You two are very fortunate.

      • Debbie says:

        Yes I’m lucky, sorry for your loss. I do find her talking about her mom touching and heartbreaking all at the same time.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I loved how she wrote about her family in her book. Her love for her family is very sincere.

  5. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    I love Mindy and I think she’s beautiful, but I hate that dress. I looked it up on Mindy Project Style blog, and it’s Michael (just retire already) Kors, and it says it costs $12,995!!!! Are you kidding me?

    Anyway, please Hulu, please.

    • Snazzy says:

      13 thousand for that dress? Seriously?

    • Rhiley says:

      What? I kind of think the dress is a nice, calming color and was wondering if perhaps she got it from Old Navy cause if she got it from Old Navy I was thinking, Hmmm, this may be a cute summer dress to wear to barbecues and such. But almost 13,000 grand? Ah, hell na.

      • Anne says:

        I know! Even for those who can easily afford it, I’d wonder about anyone who chose to invest that money that way.

    • Erinn says:

      Sigh. I look at that blog every so often. I love most of her clothes on that show. I’m pretty much a shrunken down Mindy body wise. I’m only 5’2″ and I’m similar proportions – just on a short girl frame. While, ideally, the goal is for me to get into better shape – the blog really makes me feel like I can totally find some fantastic styles for my current body. And a lot of the issue is that I convince myself I can’t wear certain things because I’m self conscious – but really, I end up looking worse because I’ll buy things too big because I don’t want to try them on, and I won’t try styles that could look great because to me, they seem like they’d just draw attention to things I don’t want. BUT – a lot of the things I don’t think would look good, would just involve a little bit of tweaking and some confidence. Basically, I’m my biggest enemy on that front. But looking at that blog I actually get so many ideas – and a lot of times you can find like department store dupes of dresses or whatever, and that is fantastic.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        I agree about the confidence and willing to try thing on. I often reject things without trying them because I “know” they wouldn’t look good. But she does motivate you to try things because, no, she doesn’t look like the model in them but she looks fabulous.

    • Norman Bates' Mother says:

      How much? I liked this dress at first as something I would gladly wear to a summer outdoor party or a casual wedding reception but it doesn’t look like an expensive designer dress at all. Even if Kors single-handedly dyed, cut out and sew together every single piece of those lilac-flowers, it’s still over $12,000 too much.

      I just visited the site you mentioned and one thing I immediately noticed is that Mindy looks much better than a model in many of those dresses.

    • AustenGirl says:

      I love Mindy–she looks gorgeous in almost everything she wears. I get what she says about being susceptible to other people’s style. My “style” is all over the map–one day it will be a Talbot’s sweater with tea cups on the front, and the next day a sequined skirt paired with a snarky t-shirt.

      Hi, GoodNames! It’s been awhile–hugs!

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Hi AustenGirl! Hugs back to you! Hope everything is ok and you’ve just been busy. Great to see you!

    • The Other Katherine says:

      Jaysus. That is a cute dress, but looks like something my mom (a capable but not world-class seamstress) would sew for a summer party. For $13 grand, I want to see some serious originality and/or bravura craftsmanship!

  6. Kflaf says:

    While her show went downhill fast and some things are problematic, I do understand the importance of her having this show on the air. Its an amazing accomplishment for a POC female to star and create her own major nextwork show. Im sure she’ll be fine after the show ends.
    As for the Novak thing, it seems really sad. I dont think she has moved on and he probably is jealous of her career.

  7. Jenns says:

    I love Mindy, but she’s going Kelly Kapoor with B.J.

  8. INeedANap says:

    Her and BJ need complete radio silence for a few months. I think it’s great he was there for her when her mother died, but she won’t move on if he’s always just THERE.

    Seriously, total non-communication for six months. No texts, emails, or calls, de-friend each other on all social media, the works. Who would the Celebitchies like to see her with next?

    • Snazzy says:

      Chris Evans! She’ll teach him some manners and get some great exposure for the next phase of her career :D

    • Rocket says:

      Michelle Rodriguez. Yes its a liitle like drizzling ice cream on french fries but I think bot parties could learn from each other. Also Michelle is the furthest thing from the Waspy men Mindy constantly cast on TMP as love interests, I think Mindy could do with a broadening of horizons

  9. InvaderTak says:

    There’s something Taylor swifty about her and her relationships that I can’t quite put my finger on. Like in theory they should be alright and perfectly normal Relationships but they’re just not.

  10. Observer says:

    I think I figured out what I find so ‘off’ about her look; It’s the dark lipstick! It does nothing for her.
    Please wear lighter lipstick, it doesn’t have to be powdered pink or nude, just a lighter shade of any color!

  11. Lucy says:

    She deserves a great guy. That’s all I’ve got.

  12. Tifygodess24 says:

    I mean none of us know what their relationship or lack of one is all about but I always gotten the feeling he leads her on. Like he gives her just enough to keep her around not to mention who knows what he tells her behind the scenes as well. Most of the time It seems – even when you see them together like he’s not really into her, he’s indifferent or he is into her but doesn’t want to be and I wonder if it’s because she’s not a size two and up to “Hollywood standards”. Almost like he’s embarrassed. Maybe he’s “that guy” who likes to keep his options open just incase someone he deems better comes around. I don’t know. I just get this off feeling with him. I know he will mention her in interviews and send her tweets and stuff but he just seems shady to me. It’s so easy to blame the woman ( referring to some of the comments above ) because we live in a society where that’s the norm but how about we start looking at the guy as well. Geez. It takes two.

    • Aurora says:

      Doubtful. Even their friendship is mercurial, a romantic relationship between them must feel very dysfunctional.

  13. Debbie says:

    Wow there is a lot if presumption in this thread. We literally know nothing about these twos personal lives except for their close friendship, which if you think about it is sort of brilliant because they have been able to have relationships in private and we are all focused on them. Also no one is interviewing bj when he is, he is asked the same questions and says the same stuff so it’s not like she says anything he doesn’t. She is just asked more because she is more famous.

    Did anyone assume that they date normal non Hollywood people and the allowing the media to focus on them gives their significant others space and their relationship privacy.

    To say they need to stop talking about each other or to each other is insane when we literally know nothing about their relationship except what they allow us to know which could be a very specific dynamic that works for their brand.

  14. IfUSaySo says:

    So we know that BJ broke up with Mindy and it seems clear to me that Mindy is still VERY into him. He seems like a nice friend who probably enjoys the attention BUT he is over it. She seems to want to rekindle and he is just being nice. That is how I read it.

    That being said, I second what someone else said about her not having girlfriends. She communicates with her male costars ONLY and its mainly all flirty. I think she ADORES male attention, in a way that I understand because I was also an “ugly duckling” with virtually no male attention who became popular with men in my mid-twenties.

    The feeling of being ignored in high school and then suddenly have lots of guys telling you youre beautiful and wanting to sleep with you is intoxicating. It’s also kind of unhealthy if you get obsessed (it becomes a game) and THAT is why you need your girlfriend to bring you back down to earth. I have seen several of her public tweets to Messina, Ike, BJ, and others that are not only painfully obviously flirty but also would annoy the sh*t out of me if I were married to those men (i know Messina and Ike are married)

  15. Lucy2 says:

    She looks gorgeous on the cover! I hope the show goes to Hulu.
    Her relationship with BJ seems very complicated, but they clearly care about each other a lot. Maybe someday it will all work out for them.

  16. DenverD says:

    I have always had the same fear. He seems like such a prick in interviews, he gives me slime vibes.