That’s exactly what Mindy Kaling did with Late Night, the comedy she wrote about a difficult female talk show host whose job is at risk. Mindy has described Emma as her “favourite living actor” and frankly, same.
Thankfully, for everyone involved, Emma loved the script and said yes.
If you’re writing a cantankerous female lead for your first ever feature film, obviously you’re going to email Emma Thompson and tell her you’ve got her in mind for the role.
“This character said so many unlikable things and did so many things that are so terrible, but Emma Thompson is the kind of person who can pull it off, and you’re still rooting for her,” Mindy told The Hollywood Reporter. “And not everyone can do that. And it was kind of a stupid thing because no one else could have played the part.”
And so, Emma plays Katherine Newbury, a ratings-challenged late night host with an all-male, all-white writers’ room. She is notorious for not working well with other women. When she’s told her job is in danger, she decides to hire a woman of colour to write for her – enter, of course, Mindy herself. Together, they have to revamp the show to stay relevant and keep their jobs.
Mind knows what it’s like to be that character IRL, but she also knows what it’s like to be the boss, so she wrote from both perspectives. Mindy earned her fame on the American version of The Office, then starred in The Mindy Project, Ocean’s 8 and A Wrinkle In Time.
“I vividly remember my experience coming up in the industry with no connections, not having gone to Harvard, being the only diverse person in the room,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “But I also – even more vividly because I was living it when I wrote this – remember what it’s like to be in a power position where you’re the showrunner and the star of something. You’re impatient. You’re a little complacent, and you’re just kind of a demanding boss that worries a little bit that you’ve lost touch with people.”
We cannot wait until this movie comes out on the 7th June. Until then, here’s two minutes 30 seconds of total joy.