People: Mindy Kaling & BJ Novak are ‘just friends’ & she calls him her ‘best friend’

Vanity Fair’s 2018 Oscars After Party

The reviews are coming in for A Wrinkle In Time and man, they are NOT good. Which is depressing, because I really wanted Ava DuVernay to have a win, just as I wanted the female-driven film – starring Mindy Kaling, Oprah, Reese Witherspoon, Gugu Mbatha-Raw – to have a win. So put that depressing news to the side for a moment and let’s focus on Mindy and BJ Novak.

As we talked about on Monday, Mindy and BJ attended the Vanity Fair Oscar party together. I had hoped that we were done with this stuff, considering Mindy went off and got pregnant by some mystery man (or mystery sperm donor) and had the baby and seemed to just… I don’t know, move beyond the dysfunctional relationships that consumed her throughout her 20s. We know this because she told us all about it, how damaged she was after the breakup with BJ, and how they found a way to still be friends and yet… it still feels so f–king dysfunctional. Well, in case anyone was worried that Mindy and BJ’s VF Oscar party was some kind of announcement that they’re back together, they are not. They’re “just friends.”

Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak are proving that exes can be friends. During the 90th Annual Academy Awards on Sunday evening, Kaling attended the Vanity Fair Oscars viewing party with longtime friend and ex-boyfriend Novak. After being photographed together on the red carpet, they were seen mingling with guests and later took a seat together on a sofa to rest their feet.

Although the Kaling-Novak couple fandom was real on social media as Office diehards and romance shippers freaked out over their reunion — Novak starred as Kelly Kapoor, opposite Novak’s Ryan Howard on the NBC sitcom — a source tells PEOPLE the pair is just friends.

To document the pair’s evening out on Sunday, the A Wrinkle In Time star enjoyed a kid-free night as she documented the star-studded outing on social media. The actress welcomed a daughter named Katherine Swati Kaling in December. “I’m headed out for a night of fun with my best friend…,” Kaling, 38, said before turning the camera to Novak.

[From People]

Since Mindy loves rom-coms and wants her life to be more like a rom-com, I think she probably saw this going one of two ways. Rom-Com Version #1: BJ Novak was always the loser ex-boyfriend that she realized was toxic as soon as she got pregnant with another dude’s baby. She has a sudden moment of realization and she tells him off in some big, melodramatic speech about how she’s just completely DONE with his mindf–kery. Then she ends up marrying Chris Pine. Rom-Com Version #2: she gets pregnant by a rando and as she’s dealing with all of the shenanigans of being a single pregnant woman, her “best friend” BJ repeatedly comes to save the day, and by the end of the movie, they both realize that they ARE family.

But what’s happened is Version #3: she got pregnant by *someone* and BJ Novak was all too eager to keep her entangled in this dysfunctional web of mindf–kery and now everything is pretty much the same as it was before she even got pregnant. “Just friends.” And how. I mean, it’s her life. She can live how she wants to live. But don’t give me this crap about him being your “best friend.” I’m taking this too personally, I know.

Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones - Arrivals

2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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58 Responses to “People: Mindy Kaling & BJ Novak are ‘just friends’ & she calls him her ‘best friend’”

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  1. QueenB says:

    They are both pretty messy about this. Why they need to play it all out in public?

  2. MousyB says:

    ughhh Mindy, girl

    I’m probably taking this too personally too, but how is she ever going to find a good guy if she keeps this up!! It all seems so unhealthy like they haven’t moved on but like they have something to prove by staying friends…Maybe if they became friends several years after having separate relationships, doing their own thing, etc. But they always seem so on and off and intertwined…

    • HH says:

      I’m taking this personally too. It just feels like a “GIRL, STOP!” situation. Lol.

      Also, perhaps it’s my jealous tendencies but I get uncomfortable when someone “gushes” over their friend. Mindy Kaling seems to gush over BJ. Lorde gushes over Jack Antanoff. You can and should certainly admire your friends, but if I were a significant other, I’d have a real problem with someone other than me or family gushing over my partner.

      • VirgiliaCoriolanus says:

        I don’t even follow them, etc but this exactly. It seems like she’s hoping for more and he’s just like we’re “friends”….

      • Asiyah says:

        Funny, I’m going to expose my trauma here, but I would mind the gushing more because I’d suspect it to be fake than me suspecting the person has a thing for my man. I’d be like “great, another fake person buttering my man up. What does s/he want?!”

    • Kaiser says:

      THANK YOU FOR JOINING ME IN TAKING THIS TOO PERSONALLY. I love her but I can’t with this mess.

    • minx says:

      Put me in the “talking it too personally” column.
      I think she still has feelings for him and he just doesn’t care for her in that way. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe he’s a devoted, faithful, supportive friend….but I don’t think so.

      • burnsie says:

        totally agree, minx

      • Ksenia says:

        So he doesn’t like her romantically: how does that make him a “douche?” For all we know, he’s been flatly telling her “no, we’re JUST friends” and she’s kept pestering him to feel and show and be more to her than that. I can actually imagine that being the case. She is not an attractive woman, and he’s not physically attracted to her, and he has other women he *is* attracted to, to choose from–again, how is that wrong or bad or mean of him? What on earth makes her the “nice” one here? Oh, how tragic: she’s the victim of unrequited love!!! Yeah, that happens to many people, some multiple times, what on earth makes this particular woman special and deserving of an overtly romantically disinterested man’s sudden romantic interest? If he’s such a “douche” (apparently just for rejecting her?) why do you even WANT her to wind up w him?LOL: Luckily, I don’t take this personally, but I AM absolutely BAFFLED as to why anyone would? Is she known for being very likable/relatable, or something? Nice? (She is a fairly bad actress, from what I’ve seen.) Well, lol, whatever…

    • Bridget says:

      You guys realize that you are assuming that this intelligent, capable, successful woman is pining for a man that she dated a decade ago based solely on the fact that she really likes romantic comedies?

      • Lyka says:

        Hey now, people are also reading ~vibes~ :)

      • Asiyah says:

        Bridget, I don’t assume she’s pining over him. I could absolutely believe she’s over him and has no romantic feelings towards him. That still doesn’t mean he’s not occupying her time, and that this can be toxic.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I agree Bridget.

    • Wow says:

      I have a best friend with a very similar history as them. Let me tell you its not weird. I think it depends on the people Involved and their chemistry together but you can absolutely make it work. Actually make it work doesn’t seem like the right words because at least for us, it just works. Some people are meant to be in your life for different reasons at different times.

      Do your thang Mindy!

    • burnsie says:

      Count me in as taking it too personally!!!! Mindy, honey, you will never find a good man if you keep up this BJ f*ckery

    • Asiyah says:

      Yes, I too am taking this personally, and that’s because I had a “best friend” a la Mindy and BJ and he ended up being a despicable person. Not to mention that the friendship was total BS because I was only his friend because he needed something from me.

  3. nikzilla says:

    No, I don’t think she’s fooling anyone with this “best friend” business. BJ is her baby daddy.

  4. OriginalLala says:

    I always kind of got douchey vibes from him but he comes off as a pretentious douche in her books, and I dont think it was intentional, I think she was trying to portray him as funny, charming and suave but all I got was jack**ss, I hope for her sake, she is protecting her heart.

  5. JA says:

    Pathetic even more so the fact she has money, power and the opportunity to meet better men yet she keeps running back to this douche bro. Ugh sure she’ll be crying into her mimosas with her gfs soon enough.

  6. Jay says:

    She looks great!

    • Y says:

      She does look great! She looks stunningly beautiful. I am watching old The Office episodes and she is looking better with age. :)

  7. Lucy says:

    Hey, you care about Mindy. It’s fine. I DO like to think she’s had a brief but passionate fling with The Better Chris, though.

  8. Laughysaphy says:

    He rides her coattails when it’s convenient for him. Ugh. Lose this dude, Mindy, it’s way past time for it.

  9. Mindy_dopple says:

    Oh, she’s got a new show on NBC, in two packed A lister ensemble movies this year and all of a sudden he comes running back. I hope her baby gives her all the clarity she needs to kick this guy to the curb. It will be like the ending scene to Waitress which was always my favorite.

    • KNy says:

      That’s what I was thinking only you put it in better words! Now that she has a daughter of her own, she hopefully has some clarity. She clearly takes other stuff in her life very seriously, and has reached a huge level of success, beyond anyone else from The Office, save for Steve Carrel.

      The weird thing I find is that her fans seem to be in two completely different camps: one that thinks they were meant to be, and one that is like, “Ugh, girl! Get rid of his ass!”

  10. lucy2 says:

    Weren’t they working together on the Office when they were dating/breaking up? Maybe things have improved, and they’ve both matured and can really be friends now…maybe. Hopefully.

  11. Bridget says:

    You guys give her absolutely no credit. She’s trolling us. Those pics got major traction, and not only is a Wrinkle In Time coming out but so is her new show. And at one point they were writing a book together. But sure, she’s pinning away for him sadly.

    • BaronSamedi says:

      I actually agree with you that this is all a very clever PR ploy. I mean I believe that they are friends and probably having a good time setting up these situations.

      My problem is honestly that I do not appreciate being manipulated this way. Either stand by your commitment to privacy or tell us what’s up. This smug, giggly kind of “Wouldn’t you like to know?” game while intentionally throwing meat into the shark infested waters is not a good look.

      She’s selling a likable, bubbly persona with her shows and her RomCom shtick. The kind of girl you want to have Cosmos with does not pull these Machiavellian games behind the scenes.

      • Bridget says:

        Any speculation about their romantic status is on our part, though. She’s said for years that they’re friends and not romantically involved anymore – we’re just assuming that because she likes romantic comedies that she must be pining. That doesn’t make any sense.

      • BaronSamedi says:


        The manipulation is the part where she knows exactly what we are all speculating about and keeps feeding into it with photo-ops, books they write together, NOT telling us who her baby daddy is, and showing up to the Oscar after party with Novak as her date.

        As if she doesn’t have ANY other friends she could take? When she knows exactly that the world is wondering who the father of her child is and LOVING it?

        I mean she is playing the game expertly but she is 100% playing it.

      • Bridget says:

        They go to the VF party together most years. They’re each other’s red carpet ‘dates’ constantly. This isn’t some one-off. And they’re completely straightforward – dated when they were much younger (like a decade), but moved onto friendship years ago.

      • BaronSamedi says:

        @ Bridget

        I’m not denying that they are probably genuinely friends who enjoy each other’s company.

        I just think that Mindy is expertly using the convenient speculation about their are they/are they not to keep herself in the press. I was only tangentially aware of her before her show and since then no story I have read about her anywhere failed to mention the BJ Novak speculation.

        There are many celebrities out there who manage to shut this speculation down if they really want to. And apparently she is capable of keeping a tight lid on things when she wants to. If she didn’t *want* this speculation they wouldn’t pose together on the red carpet and simply arrive separately.

        I’m not really that bothered about it but I do think it’s kind of obvious.

      • Bridget says:

        I simply disagree with calling it “manipulative”. For one thing, it’s entirely possible that the contrast is because other romantic partners in Kaling’s life were the ones who wished to be private, or she was artificially inseminated and there is no other guy. These two are literally doing the same thing they’ve done for years. Arriving separately and all that – why, if they don’t care? She’s someone that clearly is comfortable setting her own boundaries while living a public life. I find it interesting that it’s either all or nothing; either you publicly pay yourself bare and share all of your deepest darkest secrets, or you hide behind a dumpster a la Leonardo DiCaprio.

    • hoopjumper says:

      Totally agree. Mindy Kaling is only somewhat “the woman who believes in rom coms and wants her life to be one”. She is mostly the smart businesswoman who wants” women who believe in rom coms and want their lives to be one” to identify with her.

  12. Kumquat says:

    She is too good for him. I swear she is getting prettier and he definitely isn’t.

  13. Nia says:

    I mean it could be option #4: Mindy is more successful and as usual got invited to a major networking opportunity I.e. VF party, BJ wanted in and she did him a favor. Perhaps at the risk of causing speculation she tried to control the narrative by saying he was her friend and that’s it. Maybe they didn’t even spend much time together beyond the carpet photo op.
    Sigh. Who knows, but I like that version

  14. Caitlin says:

    One of my favorite dreams I’ve ever had featured Mindy and I going shopping and then going to brunch. After a few too many mimosas I was like, “GIRL YOU NEED TO GET BJ NOVAK OUT OF YOUR LIFE HE IS HOLDING YOU BACK” and she said, “Oh my god, you are so right,” then we drunk-hugged it out.

    I wish this dream was real life and she would break this off because she is so talented and charming and deserves way better.

  15. marmo says:

    I had an ex like this in my 20s and now we are legit friends in our late 30s. People change A LOT in those years (trust we had a messy break up).
    People do grow up. Give her some credit.

    • wowza says:

      Yeah same. My ex literally convinced me to continue living with him after we broke up hahaha. Yes, it was very weird. But life is weird. It actually totally worked out.

      I was worried people would think I was hung up on him. There is still a chemistry to our relationship that seems romantic, and I was worried people would read that as me being hung up on him when it was over. But now I feel like– when you break up with someone, that chemistry doesn’t necessarily go away. And you can enjoy that but choose not to engage with it because you’ve been down that road and it doesn’t work.

  16. Lila says:

    Whatever happened with the bookdeal they signed together a couple years back?

  17. Mumbles says:

    Man, that guy is dead behind the eyes. He looks like that Miller creep who works for Trump.

  18. Leigh says:

    Maybe there’s gossip I’ve missed, but I don’t understand why everyone thinks there’s drama and mindf*ckery here, perhaps they are legit just close friends, it happens.

    On another note, she looks hot AF in these photos!

  19. hogtowngooner says:

    Their relationship (at least the way it’s presented publicly) reminds me of the saying “You can’t love someone into loving you back”

  20. Amelie says:

    If she did a sperm donor I feel like she wouldn’t be secretive about her daughter’s father. Same with January Jones. Why refuse to name the father if it’s an anonymous sperm donor?

    They don’t have to name the father but it won’t stop us from speculating. Either BJ is the father and Mindy is saving face by not admitting it (because she will be judged for having a baby with her ex who she has a dysfunctional relationship with). She said it was an “unexpected surprise” to be pregnant which would not be the case for anonymous sperm donor—you do that with the goal of getting pregnant! Or the father is some other guy Mindy has not named because maybe he’s married, not interested in being a dad, the ex of a close friend, some one night stand guy she doesn’t want in her baby’s life… who knows! It’s fun to speculate with her. It will also eventually come out. These things always do!

  21. Marianne says:

    Honestly, I never expected much from A Wrinkle in Time when I first saw the trailers. With the exception with their animated or franchise films, their films dont always tend to be great. Remember Tomorrowland? John Carter? The Finest Hours? I still think it may be worth it to see the visuals…but *shrugs*.

  22. Candion says:

    I will never understand how you can be “friends” with someone after you’ve been naked and dirty lol

  23. Silvie says:

    I just saw A Wrinkle In Time and Mindy is so gorgeous and capable and infinitely more interesting than BJ. I think he’s cute, but quite frankly she is way out of his league. I don’t know what she’s doing in terms of self care these days but since having her baby, she is burning hot fire.

  24. K says:

    I absolutely believe she still loves him. For those who doubt, listen to her Howard Stern interview.

  25. phaedra says:

    I was watching/listening to the Office on Netflix while i painted my basement and now read this. Please let this be the paint fumes! No, Mindy, run! Go to Miami (Ohio) with Jim and Pam’s pediatrician and don’t look back!