Mindy & Reese Are Hollywood’s Coolest BFFs

dynamic duo

Mindy Kaling and Reese Witherspoon have a touching heart-to-heart at Brentwood School’s second Young Women’s Conference.

Feb 10, 2014 | 07:29 PM

Move over Amy and Tina, there’s a new pair of lady BFFs in town. Although we knew about Reese and Mindy’s friendship for a little while, we had no idea how deep their affection went until last Saturday, when the two stars took the stage at Brentwood School’s Young Women’s Conference.

Their entertaining interview touched upon their humble upbringings and how they struggled to make it to the top of a male-dominated industry. Take a look at a transcript from their talk below. Does this mean we can expect to see Reese in an upcoming episode of “The Mindy Project”? We hope so!

Reese Witherspoon: I asked Mindy to do this with me because I'm terrible at speeches. I thought it would be interesting because we have been good friends for a while and when we talk, we run the gamut of conversations that women have about business and life. I just find her so inspirational, so we have prepared some questions for each other.

Mindy Kaling: We’re kind of the same age but you’ve been working for such a long time and you’re so accomplished. You act, produce and you’re a busy mom and wife. If you were a man, no one would ask you how you balance it all. They would just assume you can handle it. So I’m not going to ask you how you balance it all. But I will ask you what one thing is that you do just for you and for fun? My answer would be nail art. Like a 14-year-old girl.

Reese Witherspoon: Few people know this about me, but I like to take hip-hop dance classes. I’m not saying I’m good at hip-hop dance classes, I just enjoy taking them.

Mindy Kaling: …As long as I can remember I have been organized and ambitious. As a kid, I would come up with a list of where I was going to work, what my kids would be named and where they would go to college. Were you hyper-specific about your goals as a kid?

Reese Witherspoon: No. I don’t feel like I was very organized. I started doing commercials when I was 12. One day there was an ad in the paper that said, "Do you want to be in a movie?" I was like, “Heck yeah I want to be in a movie!” I grew up in Nashville, Tenn. They’re not making a lot of movies there. No one’s an actor. And so I ended up going down to audition in this movie and I got one of the leads because they wanted a girl with a country accent, which I had at the time.

My parents are in the medical profession too. My dad’s a doctor and my mom is a professor of pediatric nursing. So I thought I was going to be a doctor. I was sure I was going to be. And then the universe just showed me this different possibility. Thank god my parents did this, but they told me I had to stay in school. I was allowed to work in the summers but I couldn’t work in the school year. They said, “You’re not moving to California, that’s where crazy people live.”

So I was working only in the summers. Then I applied to college and ended up going to Stanford for a year, but after a year I was getting jobs -- movies. I was flying down every weekend from Stanford to LA to read my lines in auditions. And that’s sort of been my life. I haven’t had a lot of plans.

Reese Witherspoon: It’s hard. You fake it a lot. It’s hard going out on auditions. When I was 14, I came out here to audition for a movie called “Cape Fear” with Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese and I just literally shook the entire time. I couldn’t even get the lines out. Robert De Niro had to finish my lines for me. I didn’t get the job [laughs]. But growing up, I watched “Saturday Night Live” every single week.

Mindy Kaling: You’re a secret comedy nerd.

Reese Witherspoon: You don’t understand, when a comedy is on I’m constantly telling everyone to “shh!” so that I can hear the jokes. I need to understand the jokes.

Mindy Kaling: I always looked to the actors who seemed to be playing versions of themselves, like Tom Hanks or Ray Romano or Jerry Seinfeld and Tina Fey. I liked writer-ly characters.

Reese Witherspoon: Well, that make sense because you write so well. We both grew up with very strong, work-minded mothers. I think that’s a big inspiration. And success is important, but so is failure.



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