Mindy Kaling on how Oprah was “tricked” into telling the press about her baby

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Kayleigh Dray
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Mindy Kaling has gently informed Oprah Winfrey that she confirmed her pregnancy news without her say-so…

Mindy Kaling, Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon have been working hard together on bringing Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle In Time to the big screen.

So, naturally, the trio of talented women have become very close over the past few months (strike that: they’ve gone from being co-workers to pretty much best friends).

However, their friendship seemed at stake when an excitable Winfrey confirmed Kaling’s pregnancy in a series of interviews last year – especially when you consider how private Kaling had been about becoming a mother for the first time.

So, when the pair joined Witherspoon for an interview on BBC One’s The One Show, Winfrey couldn’t help asking if she’d made a mistake in telling the world about Kaling’s pregnancy.

“Did I leak [the story]?” she asked. “People keep saying that I did it. Did I do it?”

“Yes,” replied Kaling gently.

As the studio audience burst into nervous laughter, Kaling went on to explain “how it happened”.

“My pregnancy was showing,” she said. “So people assumed that I was pregnant, and the news had leaked that I was pregnant.

“But I hadn’t confirmed it, mostly for vanity’s sake, and I told Oprah and Reece almost immediately. We were at a press event in Disney World, and we were overcome with emotions. And then I wanted to tell them, so I told them.”

Turning to Winfrey, Kaling said: “And I think you said in an interview or something, I’m really excited for Mindy and her baby. Thus confirming [the news].”

Clearly shocked by this revelation, Winfrey turned to shoot a look of disbelief at a sympathetic Witherspoon – but Kaling was quick to reassure her co-star that there were absolutely no hard feelings.

“They tricked you,” she said, referring to the press. “They said ‘you must be excited for Mindy and her baby’, and you said ‘I am’.

“And so they got a confirmation from you.”

“I didn’t know that was a trick question,” said an apologetic Winfrey.

Kaling previously told Ellen DeGeneres: “If anyone is going to announce big news about your private life, Oprah Winfrey is the person. You can’t complain that much about it. And you also can’t be like, ‘Hey, Oprah, zip it’, because she’s almost like a religious figure.

“So if there’s one person I have to tell my daughter about that revealed her existence to the world, Oprah is pretty good.”

Kaling has not revealed the identity of her baby daughter’s father, but, during an interview with NBC’s Willie Geist, explained that she hopes to draw parenting inspiration from her own mother, who died from pancreatic cancer in 2012.

“My mom was incredibly fierce and so devoted to us, just loved us and really wanted us to be happy no matter what we did,” she said at the time.

“My career choice was not something that she was familiar with and she was just so supportive of that.”

Expressing a wish to pass that badass feminist trait to her little girl (whom she has reportedly named Katherine), Kaling added: “If I could give that to my child, just that open-mindedness, I’d be so happy.”

Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time is one of the most beloved children’s books of all time, so it makes sense that Disney are bringing it to the silver screen – and that they managed to pull together such an incredible cast, too.

The magical story centres on Meg Murry (Storm Reid), a young girl whose father, a government scientist, has gone missing after working on a mysterious project called a tesseract.

Joined by a schoolmate and her younger brother, the brave 13-year-old sets off on a journey across space and time to save him - finding help in the form of supernatural beings, Mrs Whatsit (Witherspoon), Mrs Who (Kaling), and Mrs Which (Winfrey).

And the girl power vibes don’t stop there, either: Selma director Ava DuVernay is the director of the science fiction fantasy, while Frozen’s Jennifer Lee penned the script. All in all, a recipe for sheer cinematic pleasure.

The film will hit cinemas on the 23 March. To find out more about it – not to mention the other films we’ve picked out for every feminist to view in 2018 – make sure to read our article here.

Image: Getty

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.