‘Inside Out’ Interview: Amy Poehler & Mindy Kaling

Both Amy Poehler and Mindy Kaling voice emotions in Disney-Pixar’s Inside Out that cultivate personality islands in the mind of Riley, the young girl whose brain the film takes place in. During the L.A. press junket, the two actresses/writers/producers talked about how they nurture their personality islands through collaboration, important core memories, and resonating with young girls, who are inspired by their success as women in entertainment.

Q: Amy, I wanna ask you about sitting down with him (Pete Doctor), going through the script, and maybe making adjustments to certain things about it. What was that like to do that with Pixar?

Amy Poehler: It was awesome. I have a theory that with the exception of a few eccentric geniuses, I feel like most talented people are good collaborators, because they are not threatened by other people’s good ideas, because they have a million of them. It was awesome, and my fear was that Joy would get annoying, and apparently she was, because no one wanted to be her. That’s okay. That’s okay, but just tracking that, and making sure that she’s – you know what I mean. We talked a lot about that and pitched jokes, ways to walk that line where you weren’t like… she wasn’t driving you crazy.

Q: Mindy… and Amy if you might like to chime in. Of course, the movie is all about feelings and memories. What is a core memory that you have as performer or writer or producer?

Mindy Kaling: Sure. First, I’d just like to say that the idea of a core memory… if that’s something that Pete and Jonas and Ronnie in this movie named it, I didn’t know it (before). There are such things as core memories, and that’s what’s so enjoyable about the movie as you’re watching. You’re like, “Thank you for putting a name on that. Now I know.” For me, my core memory was that my mother who was my absolute best friend… she was an OB/GYN when I was very little. I would have that thing with my brothers, competitive about spending time with her alone, like one on one. That was so important to me, that no one would be around except the two of us.

And she came back from work, and she was in her scrubs, and she had spent the night at the hospital, and she had – I grew up in Boston – she had brought home Dunkin Donuts. And she had a jelly donut which I’ve never seen as a kid, and I sat on her lap in the kitchen, and we shared a jelly donut. It was like everything I ever wanted in the world, just undivided attention from my mother, and to be exposed to this new delicious sweet filled with another sweet. So that, to me, is like such an important core memory.

Q: Thank you to Mindy and Amy for all the work you’ve done in film and pop culture for women. Earlier you spoke about collaborating on the script. I was wondering if you ladies as producers and writers, would you ever consider doing an animated film, or even just starting something like a brain trust to come up with more great ideas for diversity?

Amy Poehler: That seems like a lot of work, but yes.

Mindy Kaling: Amy with Smart Girls is already doing something that’s so wonderful. She has six full-time jobs, but I love what she’s doing. She’s… and this is important to me also… but what I love is that she wants to give young girls a voice, and I think it’s great. The hardest thing about when you start creating your own material and you’re a woman, it’s like all the people that I love the most – you’re like they’re so talented, and they’re great, and then they have their own show like Ellie Kemper, Amy Schumer, Amy Poehler. You’re like, they are the best then it’s like yes! They’re incredibly busy with their own thing, but I mean, I love Amy, and I love these opportunities when I get to sit two people away from her.

Amy Poehler: Yes, we don’t always get to work together like that.

Mindy Kaling: Yes of course, the answer is yes.

Amy Poehler: Yes, it’s really cool to have young women like what you do. I really like young women and I love that age, that girl that Riley is that moment before you’ve been thrown into the snake pit. Where you’re just like all possibilities, and really open-faced, and just ready for everything, and boys are the same way too. It’s just that great time. I feel like as an adult, you’re just trying to always get back to it. It’s like magic hour, and I think we both have a lot of love for those, that age, and it’s really nice if that age… if anything we do resonates with people that age. It’s really nice.

Inside Out opens today!


World Premiere! Pixar’s ‘Inside Out’ Trailer 2

Amy Poehler and Bill Hader brought the exclusive first look at the trailer for their new Pixar film, “Inside Out”! Check it out right here.

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