‘Mindy Project’ cast dishes on Danny-Mindy kiss at Paleyfest

‘The Mindy Project’ at PaleyFest
Buzzfeed’s Jarett Wieselman, left, moderates PalyFest’s panel with “The Mindy Project’s” executive producer Matt Warburton, co-producer/actor Ike Barinholtz, executive producer/actress Mindy Kaling and costars Chris Messina, Ed Weeks, Xosha Roquemore, Zoe Jarman and Beth Grant on Tuesday at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
(Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images)

Most don’t kiss and tell.

But when asked at “The Mindy Project” PaleyFest panel on Tuesday, actor Chris Messina, who plays Dr. Danny Castellano, bashfully said that though Ike Barinholtz, who plays nurse Morgan Tookers, has “soft lips,” it’s Mindy Kaling who is the better kisser.

Barinholtz, who is also the Fox comedy’s co-producer, then jokingly stormed off stage.

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The lively cast, including Kaling, the creator and star, Messina, Barinholtz, Ed Weeks, Zoe Jarman, Beth Grant, Xosha Roquemore and executive producer Matt Warburton, kept fans laughing as they shared behind-the-scenes anecdotes and hints at what is to come in the upcoming eight episodes.

On everyone’s mind was the cliffhanger kiss between Danny and Mindy in the series’ latest episode.

“You can’t script chemistry,” Mindy said of the buildup to that moment. “After a while, it became not if they would do it, but when would they do it.” 

Warburton said it was important for them to not give fans false hope.


“You can’t have Danny dance and then take it away,” he said, referring to an episode where Messina’s character gives Mindy’s character a private choreographed dance to Aaliyah’s “Try Again.” The clip turned into a very popular GIF immediately after the episode aired.

“At a certain point you’ve got to deliver,” Warburton added.

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As for Messina grabbing Mindy’s butt during the passionate plane kiss? 

“That was improvised,” Messina told the audience.

The panel also touched on the dedicated, passionate fans, who moderator Jarett Wieselman of Buzzfeed noted “were ready to petition if Fox did not renew the show.”

“We have the best fans,” Kaling said.

“I think the reason they are so passionate is because there’s a huge connection between them and her,” Barinholtz said. “People read her book, they watch the show ... and they want in. I think that’s what keeps them watching.”


“We all want to be your best friend, right?” Grant, who plays Beverly Janoszewski, added.

Leading up to PaleyFest, some fans used the hashtag #awkwardquestionsforchrismessinaatpaleyfest, a select few which Wieselman read aloud.

And that was just one of many funny panel moments. 

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Amid discussion of the show, Weeks got up to “wee”; Barinholtz did impressions of guest star James Franco, Messina and absent costar Adam Pally; Messina teased the audience by pretending to get up to dance to “Try Again”; and cast members mocked Messina’s lack of knowledge of social media.

“You’re right, we are all insane,” Barinholtz said during the question-and-answer session with fans. “The actors are quirky. The characters are insane.”

The audience also watched the highly anticipated April 1 episode, which picks up right after the Mindy-Danny passionate airplane lip lock. 

Many flocked to the stage after the panel to get signatures and take photos with the stars.


“I could take selfies all day,” Kaling said while snapping pictures with iPhones handed to her by countless people pushing to get in the shot.


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Twitter: @saba_h

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