we pregame for “the mindy project” with the show’s cool writer, harper dill!

by ali hoffman

Tonight marks the official premiere of Fox's new TV show, The Mindy Project, staring Mindy Kaling (...duh). We set our DVR, bought tons of microwaveable popcorn, and invited more friends than we have room for to come watch--but that wasn't enough to satiate our excitement. This is where Harper Dill, a Los Angeles-based screenwriter who recently scored the insanely awesome job as a staff writer on The Mindy Project, came to our rescue. Calling us on her drive to work this morning, Harper filled us in on what it's like to work in the writers' room, her love of romantic comedies, and Mindy's office outfits.

How did you get such an awesome job?

I was working as BJ Novak's personal assistant. He read my feature before staffing season and brought me up to Mindy (he's a consulting producer on the show). First I met with the producers, and then with Mindy. We both liked "Working Girl" so I obviously was immediately hired.

We're you nervous before interviewing with Mindy?

I'm weirdly superstitious and wear the same outfit for every interview--so I wore it for my Mindy interview. I was so excited to potentially be a part of something I loved so much. Plus, I'm obsessed with romantic comedies.

What's the writing process on the show like?

For the most part we're all in the writers' room working on one thing together. There's a longish oval table with 7 monitors, one keypad, a map of NY, white boards and cork boards on the wall and a lot of note cards all over. The writers sit around the table and the writers assistants sit at desks in the front. One side of the room is hot and one side is cold. I always wear a blanket, which seems overly dramatic when I say it out loud. Occasionally someone will go off to work on a scene or chunk of a scene. The best part is pitching jokes. It's an insanely talented group of writers and its been amazing to learn from them.

What's Mindy like to work with?

Shes a hilarious, fearless and generous leader and does it all in a cute dress, with a pair of really cute heels.

Do you still fight against the stereotype of comedy being a boys-club? Or do you feel like those days are pretty much over?

I think treating it as a non-issue is kind of the best way to handle it. There are so many really cool, really funny girls right now--That's the thing to focus on.

Are you excited for it to premiere tonight?

We're all watching the premiere together tonight and going to dress up and get cute. I brought a couple different outfits in my bag today... None of which are actually cute or well thought out...

Watch The Mindy Project tonight @ 9:30pm on FOX!