Mindy Kaling tapped Emma Thompson for the lead role in comedy-drama Late Night because the actress “never gets to do funny parts”.
The Ocean’s 8 star was desperate to get the British actress on board for the new flick and wrote the role of veteran late-night talk show host Katherine Newbury, who is struggling to stay relevant and compete against fresher shows in the ratings, specifically for the star.
During an appearance on Monday’s episode (June 3, 2019) of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Mindy revealed she was so intent on giving her idol Emma a comedy role that she had no plan B had the Love Actually star turned down her offer.
“She’s done so much drama and not that much comedy, but she’s really funny and came from comedy,” the 39-year-old shared. “It was a stupid thing to do. I’m in L.A. creepily writing this movie about a woman I was a fan of. She’s hilarious and never gets to do funny parts.”
While Emma, 60, previously admitted she was a little hesitant to agree to the film straight away because she wasn’t sure what to expect, during an appearance on U.S breakfast show Today last month (May) she gushed over the movie, calling it “remarkable”.
“I’d never met her (Kaling) before, but I admired her from afar, and then she met with me, we had a drink together, and she said, ‘I’ve written something for you.’ I was very surprised – you’re always surprised when young people find you relevant – and I said, ‘How lovely!’ But I didn’t know what to expect,” she recalled. “You never know, because sometimes when people have an idea about you or they project something onto you, it’s often not quite right. (But) she wrote one of the best scripts I’d read in years and it was such fun to make…”
Before her breakthrough as an acclaimed actress and screenwriter, Emma started out in comedy as a member of Cambridge University’s legendary sketch troupe, the Footlights.
Late Night hits cinemas on June 7, 2019.