Mindy Kaling on writing Legally Blonde 3: I want Reese to be happy

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I love Mindy Kaling. I think she’s adorable smart, funny, clever, and stylish, and I rewatch the (underrated) Mindy Project often. I wish she was in more stuff as an actress, but it seems like she’s happiest writing and producing these days. In addition to those accolades, Mindy (and her onscreen counterpart, Mindy Lahiri) is a rom-com fan so it makes perfect sense that she’s a writer for Legally Blonde 3. Mindy was brought in to fine-tune the script already drafted by the writers of the first movie and talks about how she hopes Reese Witherspoon will receive it.

As a writer on the much anticipated — and long delayed — Legally Blonde 3, Mindy Kaling is very familiar with every scene of the romantic comedy, especially the one that captures her friend Reese Witherspoon’s character Elle Woods instructing others on how to do a certain move.

“Believe me, we have researched every moment of the first movie,” Kaling tells Yahoo Entertainment, “and the bend and snap — which is obviously iconic and so funny — we have been looking into, like, ‘What would be the 2022 version of the bend and snap?’”

Kaling and Dan Goor (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) were brought in to work on the script, which was initially penned by Karen McCullah and Kristen Smith, who wrote the original in 2001.

“We are working on a draft of the movie, and hopefully it’ll be done by like mid-summer,” Kaling says. “Then we’re gonna turn it in Reese, and it’s always weird when you’re working for your friend. Cause you’re like, ‘I hope you like it.’ Cause obviously the role is so iconic for her, and I love the character so much, so I want her to be happy.”

Kaling remembers people quoting Elle Woods’s most famous lines to Witherspoon when the two were in New Zealand — both were part of the cast of 2018’s A Wrinkle in Time, which filmed there. She wants to make sure to get the new movie right.

“The character is so iconic, and it’s kind of like Reese’s Avengers character,” Kaling says. “There’s something about this… it’s sort of universal… about being someone who’s intelligent but girly [and] not being taken seriously. And it sort of transcends cultures, races, ages, so I think that, like, for her, making sure that that character is written as smart… you know, it’s really hard to nail that tone and I felt so honored that she wanted me to take a stab at it.”

[From Yahoo! Entertainment]

The first movie was great and the second movie was utterly forgettable, so I’m interested to see where they take it 20 years later. Mindy and Reese were both in A Wrinkle In Time and I think that’s when they became friends. Reese even guest-starred in an episode in the final season of The Mindy Project. Since they became friends as co-stars/peers, it is an interesting dynamic that Mindy is now writing for Reese and I could see how that would be a little stressful, even when you’re as skilled as Mindy is. You always want to get it right, but then you want to get it extra right so your friend thinks well of you and they’re happy with the result. I think Mindy will do a great job though. She’s already a big fan of that genre and she has experience writing for a similar character. Her Dr. Mindy Lahiri character was also “intelligent but girly and not taken seriously” so Mindy is definitely familiar with the tone they’re going for. I’m interested to see what the 2022 version of the bend and snap is! It’s probably something I’ve never seen or heard of before {sobs in old}.

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