Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling’s new comedy Late Night is all about diversity and inclusion in the entertainment world.
So naturally, they have some strong thoughts on LGBTI representation in film – with Mindy insisting to leave it out of Late Night was ‘to misrepresent the world,’, and Emma adding ‘everything needs to be included.’
The actresses discussed the topic with Gay Star News in London last month while on the Late Night promo trail.
In the film, Kaling – who also wrote the screenplay – stars as Molly, an aspiring comedy writer who joins an all-white, all-male late night talk show writers’ room as a diversity hire. (The team includes a condescending gay man named Reynolds, played by John Early).
Meanwhile Emma is Katherine, the thankless talk show host Molly works for. (Think Joan Rivers meets in The Devil Wears Prada – with a dash of the stiff Britishness Meryl channeled in The Iron Lady!)
Highlighting the contribution of LGBTI cast and crew members to the film, Emma said: ‘Mitchell Travers, who did the design of all the costumes was, I would say, crucial to this movie.’
‘He’s unbelievably skilful and a great genius – his insight into Katherine’s character in particular,’ Emma furthermore continued. ‘He was invaluable to me.’
She also added: ‘Jason Seeker, who did my hair… I was created by gay men, basically. Which is not a surprise!’
Speaking about the presence of LGBTI characters in the scripts she reads, she explained: ‘It depends how it’s written of course. Sometimes it can be terribly off-putting because someone’s written something deeply inaccurate.’
‘I felt it was important [to have LGBTI representation in the script]’ Mindy also told us. ‘I felt to not show it was to misrepresent the world. So many of our writers’ rooms are filled with young people – gay men and women.’
She added of Early’s character, who initially isn’t an ally to Molly: ‘just because you’re gay, doesn’t mean you can’t be an elitist!’
Late Night hits select UK and US cinemas on 7 June.