06/02/2014 09:10 am ET Updated Jun 02, 2014

Mindy Kaling: 'I Wasn't Considered Attractive Or Funny Enough To Play Myself'

Travis P Ball via Getty Images

Mindy Kaling rushes into the restaurant loaded with so many bags it looks as if she's playing the part of a frantic shopper. She immediately apologies for the venue, a glitzy sushi joint in New York's SoHo that is, as she puts it, quite "Ashton Kutcher, 2007" (she chose it as she's staying next door). She's been to collect the gifts she received at a book signing the night before, which include a fan-made T-shirt with her face on it and boxes of cupcakes.

"This is cupcake number three," she says, sifting through her loot. "And there's another one there. I think companies make a Venn diagram of people who like me and people who like cupcakes." Some of the cakes have a winky face on them. "It's so funny. It's so nice. We did an episode of The Mindy Project where one of the lines is, 'You can't send a winky face, it's like emoji porn.' These are very photographable. This is why I like Instagram so much. It's like Etsy exploded in my bag."

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