NEW IN HOLLYWOOD: “I’m like a despotic king,” joked Mindy Kaling, as she surveyed a room full of friends and colleagues upstairs at the A.O.C. Wine Bar in Los Angeles on Wednesday night where Entertainment Weekly’s managing editor Jess Cagle gathered a small group to celebrate “The Mindy Project” star’s New Hollywood cover. “Many of the guests are actors and writers on my show, who I employ, so they feel bound to me. Even so, it’s very nice that they’re all here.”

Clad in Alexander McQueen, Kaling immediately caught up with costar Ike Barinholtz over a family-style dinner. Other cast mates like Ed Weeks, Zoe Jarman, Beth Grant and Xosha Roquemore were also in attendance — though she had a fellow New Hollywood-er on her mind. Days earlier, Kerry Washington had sent Kaling a note on Twitter that read, “At the airport…obsessing over how GORGEOUS @mindykaling is on the cover of @EW.”

This story first appeared in the August 9, 2013 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“That was so nice of her,” beamed Kaling. “I hope she wins the Emmy — although she’s in a category with a lot of very talented women. I’m so admiring of her. It’s in a lot of ways so much more challenging to be an actress who has to audition for things and go that path. I actually don’t have the fortitude for that, so I write my own stuff.”

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