Our love for Lena Dunham is strong, and could only be trumped by our love for Mindy Kaling. Both are exceptionally smart and funny women who’ve broken barriers in traditionally male-dominated fields, they’ve managed to both run two insanely successful television shows. So, needless to say, we were excited to see that—for the second edition of Tavi Gevinson’s print-only Rookie: Yearbook Two magazine— Gevinson was able to commission the “Girls” creator to sit down with Kaling. Rolling Stone offered up the entire interview online, and we’ve picked out a few of our favorite quotes.
On what makes her laugh more than anything:
Kaling: I love when people fall out of frame unexpectedly. I also love accents. Borat saying “my wife,” you know, that kind of thing.”
Dunham: “I am the worst about toilet humor – I hate it, and I feel that the day I embrace it will be the day that I no longer have anything positive to offer the world.”‘
On her role models:
Dunham: “I would list my mother, Gilda Radner, Georgia O’Keeffe, Nora Ephron, Jane Campion, Jane Goodall, and Joan Rivers (plus Eloise and Pippi Longstocking).
Kaling: “I love Tina Fey, Vince Gilligan, Jonathan Franzen. B.J. Novak continually inspires me. Lorne Michaels is so stylish and has perfect taste. I strive to be as balls-out funny as Danny McBride, though who could emulate that, really? Nora Ephron, not only as a writer and director, but also as a hostess, a wit, a New Yorker. These are artists I want to copy and impress.”
“As an overall person? I would say that my mother is the single biggest role model in my life, but that term doesn’t seem to encompass enough when I use it about her. She was the love of my life.”
On what makes her feel guilty:
Dunham: “I personally hate doing things I know are bad for my body, canceling plans on children, and speaking to my sister in a condescending way just because she’s an undergraduate.
Kaling: “I feel so guilty when I upset my father or let him down. My dad is like the dad from The Road. He knows every highway in this country and what every building is made out of. He would do anything for me, and has done everything for me. Now I’m tearing up just writing this. I also feel bad when I keep my writing staff late at work, even if it’s for a good reason. Though I guess not that bad, because we stay late a lot.
On what inspires her about other women:
Dunham: “I love seeing women stand up for things they believe in, teach their daughters how to do the same, prepare meals out of whatever they have in their fridges, wear helmets when they ride their bikes, call BS when they see it, and accept that feminism comes in a lotta different forms.”
Kaling: “I love women who are bosses and who don’t constantly worry about what their employees think of them. I love women who don’t ask, ‘Is that OK?’ after everything they say. I love when women are courageous in the face of unthinkable circumstances, like my mother when she was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. Or like Gabrielle Giffords writing editorials for the New York Times about the cowardice of Congress regarding gun laws and using phrases like ‘mark my words’ like she is Clint Eastwood. How many women say stuff like that? I love mothers who teach their children that listening is often better than talking. I love obedient daughters who absorb everything — being perceptive can be more important than being expressive. I love women who love sex and realize that sexual experience doesn’t have to be the source of their art. I love women who love sex and can write about it in thoughtful, creative ways that don’t exploit them, as many other people will use sex to exploit them. I love women who know how to wear menswear.”
On how she’d like to be remembered:
Kaling: “She threw the most amazing parties and she had the most gorgeous and cheerful husband. Gay teenagers would dress up as her for Halloween. She seemed to have read every book, yet no one ever saw her reading. She had the appetite of an Olympic swimmer and the physique of an Olympic figure skater. She dressed like Chloë Sevigny and could f–k for hours…”
Dunham: “I hope to have made it easier to be oneself in this hardscrabble world and to have rescued at least 15 animals from certain death. I’d also like to be known as “prolific, iconoclastic, and winsome.”