Herald Sun - Hit - - COVER STORY - / NEALA JOHN­SON

MINDY Kal­ing has writ­ten for, acted in and directed episodes of the US ver­sion of The Of­fice. She cre­ated and starred in her own sit­com, The Mindy Pro­ject, has ap­peared in movies from The 40

Year Old Vir­gin and In­side Out to the up­com­ing Ocean’s 8 and is au­thor two best-sell­ing books.

Yet, when it comes to mul­ti­me­dia em­pires, the 38year-old reck­ons she’s got noth­ing on her A Wrin­kle In

Time cast­mates Oprah Winfrey and Reese Wither­spoon.

“In my world I’m con­sid­ered very busy. In this world ... I’m al­most nap­ping com­pared to Reese and Oprah,” Kal­ing laughs. “As some­one who does wear a lot of dif­fer­ent hats — my own show, a writer, ac­tor and di­rec­tor and things like that — it’s been re­ally in­spir­ing to be around two peo­ple who do that and more.

“You set your sights at a cer­tain height and then you meet peo­ple that make you think even big­ger.”

In the Dis­ney adap­ta­tion of Madeleine L’En­gle’s clas­sic 1962 novel, Kal­ing, Winfrey and Wither­spoon play three an­cient be­ings who help a young girl find her power and travel the uni­verse to res­cue her fa­ther. “I’m a ce­les­tial be­ing, I’m

lit­er­ally a star!” Kal­ing ex­claims. “Mrs Who is a char­ac­ter who loves vis­it­ing other plan­ets, such that she feels that ev­ery­thing worth say­ing has been said so she’s just go­ing to speak in quo­ta­tions.

“Be­cause I’m such an ex­pres­sive and chatty per­son, to only speak in other peo­ple’s words was a lit­tle bit of a chal­lenge for me,” she con­cedes. “I come from com­edy and im­pro­vi­sa­tional com­edy, but this had to be very pre­cise — Mrs Who would never be loosey­goosey with quo­ta­tions.”

A Wrin­kle In Time shot for two weeks in re­mote parts of New Zealand, putting this cer­ti­fied city-slicker out of her com­fort zone. “I don’t even like driv­ing 20 min­utes out­side of New York City when I’m at home, so for me, it was un­be­liev­able.”

But be­ing “half­way around the world to­gether” ce­mented Kal­ing’s bond with Winfrey and Wither­spoon. “I’d come to work at 5 o’clock in the morn­ing dy­ing to hear sto­ries from the two of them,” she says.

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