Mindy Kaling has gone from a comedienne to a film star with projects like The Office, Ocean’s 8, and A Wrinkle In Time. Her newest movie, Late Night, sees the story of a veteran late-night talk show host who is about to lose her long-running show — unless she does something to reinvent herself, and her ratings.
The trailer for Late Night, released by Kaling on her Twitter account, shows that an experienced talk show host, played by Emma Thompson, is about to be replaced. As a means of course correction, the host hires a new writer to add a more unique and varied perspective to her show. The new writer is played by Mindy Kaling, who wrote the screenplay for Late Night as well. The trailer goes on to showcase how a woman of color, such as Kaling’s character, brings much-needed depth and self-awareness to a workplace mostly dominated by Caucasian men. Said men are all, ironically, writing jokes for a Caucasian woman.
The trailer sees Kaling in an avatar that audiences are very much used to, in many ways playing herself. The character is witty, brash, and completely awkward as she tries to settle into her new job — while also attempting to shake things up.
Late Night is an exciting film for many reasons. Kaling herself has proven to be a force to be reckoned with, rising to fame with NBC’s hit series, The Office. After the show ended, Kaling created, wrote, and starred in her own show — The Mindy Project — which ran successfully for 6 seasons. Kaling has shown herself to be a great champion and advocate for women of color in the comedy and film industries, where women generally face many challenges. Kaling shared her experiences working with women of a certain age — and how that influenced her writing Late Night— during an interview with Glamour.
“Like, looking at Wrinkle, looking at Ocean’s, I only worked with actresses pretty much all over the age of 35 for the past two years, so it’s been great, and typically those are the women who have the hardest time finding employment in Hollywood. And to be able to be in two movies starring these incredible, diverse casts of women is incredible.”
It’s also interesting to note that Late Night is Kaling’s first feature film that she’s written. Given her comedy background, her perspective on what goes on the behind-the-scenes during late-night comedy talk shows may prove to be very insightful. The film is also directed by a woman of color, Nisha Ganatra, who has an impressive resume behind her. Ganatra has directed TV shows such as Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Dear White People, Girls, Mr. Robot and much more. The story of the film is timely as well, with the film industry taking a hard look at gender roles within the industry — looking at how to infuse diversity into all aspects of the business, both on and off camera.
Late Night will be distributed by Amazon Studios, and releases on June 7.