Mindy Kaling of The Mindy Project and The Office fame experienced a case of mistaken identity at a party recently. She was in New York, attending an after-party for The New Yorker Festival when a man in his 80s–who had likely had a bit too much to drink–began showering her with praise.
When he said, “Congratulations on your Nobel Prize!” Kaling knew he had the wrong person.
Prior to his congratulations, however, the man praised Mindy Kaling for her bravery and for her impressive recovery from gunshot wounds inflicted by the Taliban. It was after he stopped talking that a nearby writer helped Kaling undertand what had likely just happened.
“Did he really think I’m Malala?” Kaling, who is of Indian decent, asked the NYT writer after the bizarre accolades were recited. “And that if I were, I’d be at the Boom Boom Room? That’s the best thing that’s happened all night.”
The Today Show’s Willie Geist got in on the fun a few days later when he tweeted this message to Mindy Kaling.
— Willie Geist (@WillieGeist) October 25, 2014
Kaling sent her own Twitter reply.
@WillieGeist thanks Willie. Is it bad that my first reaction was "YES!!! SHE IS 17!!!"?
— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) October 25, 2014
Malala Yousafzai is, of course, the 17-year-old Pakistani activist for education for girls and women. She was shot by the Taliban as a result of her activism, and is the youngest person ever to have received a Nobel Prize. Mindy Kaling admitted that although she may have been mistaken for Malala that the two are very different.
“I was, like, stressing out about getting into college, like a nerd,” she said of what she was doing at the age of 17.
Most people were. Mindy Kaling might be a very entertaining actress, but she knows she’s no Nobel Prize winner. And she certainly has no qualms about giving credit where credit is due.