In an interview with Glamour, which put the Cambridge native on the cover of its June 2019 digital issue, Kaling said that her parents never had to tell her to work hard, that when her dad regularly commuted from the Boston area to New Haven, Conn., she thought “it seemed normal.”
“My mother was an ob-gyn and would leave in the middle of the night and miss huge chunks of things because she was delivering a baby,” Kaling told the publication. “And my dad had a job in New Haven, Connecticut—a construction project because he’s an architect—but we lived in Boston. He would leave the house at like 4 a.m. to go to the construction site and be back in time to pick us up from school. I never really computed at that age that my dad drove from Boston to New Haven every day during the week. He always made it so seamless that it seemed normal to do those things.”
Kaling said that, as immigrants, her parents had to “really hit it hard” in order to succeed, and compared her parents’ first 20 years in America to her time in the entertainment industry.
“You have this feeling, as a woman, that when you get into Hollywood as a writer and particularly as an actress you have a finite amount of time,” Kaling said. “You have to make your imprint and get your coin, frankly.”
Kaling also told Glamour that she likes to work on three movie or TV projects at once while also writing on the side, but admitted that she may slow down once her nearly-18-month-old daughter, Katherine, gets a little older.
“My baby is so little and takes such long naps,” Kaling said. “She sleeps more than half the day, so I’ve found it to not be too much of a deterrent. Plus, I’m privileged enough to have child care. In a couple of years, I probably won’t want to do quite so many things at once, but right now I still find the work energy giving, not energy depleting.”