Mindy Kaling: Did She Really Quit ‘Inside Out 2’ Over Money?

Mindy Kaling: Did She Really Quit ‘Inside Out 2’ Over Money?

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Fans are wondering if Mindy Kaling quit Inside Out 2 … and, if so, why?

Mindy Kaling is an actress, producer, and even a mom. She is also a voice actor with several memorable roles.

Countless children who don’t know her from The Mindy Project or The Office recognize her voice from Inside Out.

But Mindy Kaling isn’t part of the sequel, even though most of the main cast is returning.

Mindy Kaling for the Inside Out premiere in 2015.
Mindy Kaling attends the Los Angeles premiere of Disney-Pixar’s “Inside Out” at the El Capitan Theatre on June 8, 2015. (Photo Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Who came back for ‘Inside Out 2’ in 2024?

Inside Out 2, the Pixar film with a June 14 release date, is the long-awaited sequel to 2015’s Inside Out.

The coming-of-age animated story covers the inner workings of a young girl. A cast of five emotions, each personified, guides her actions as she processes life. (You might think of it as a psychological Osmosis Jones)

Lewis Black returns as Anger for Inside Out 2. Amy Poehler returns as Joy. Phyllis Smith returns as Sadness. But what about Mindy Kaling’s Disgust and Bill Hader’s Fear?

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The absence of these two big-name stars from the highly anticipated sequel may be shocking, but it’s not a surprise.

In the first days of 2023, The Wrap reported that Mindy Kaling would not return as Disgust. Or, rather, that she wasn’t part of the sequel at the time … allowing for the potential that Pixar could involve her later during development.

Even at the time of that report, there were rumors that at least some of the cast would not be returning. Why? Over salary disputes, fans believed.

Paula Poundstone, director Pete Docter, Mindy Kaling, Richard Kind, Lewis Black, Kaitlyn Dias, Bill Hader, Amy Poehler, Kyle MacLachlan, Phyllis Smith, Bobby Moynihan, and John Ratzenberger for the Inside Out premiere in 2015.
Paula Poundstone, director Pete Docter, Mindy Kaling, Richard Kind, Lewis Black, Kaitlyn Dias, Bill Hader, Amy Poehler, Kyle MacLachlan, Phyllis Smith, Bobby Moynihan, and John Ratzenberger attend the Los Angeles premiere of Disney-Pixar’s “Inside Out” at the El Capitan Theatre on June 8, 2015. (Photo Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Mindy Kaling confirmed that she wasn’t doing ‘Inside Out 2’

“I had a great time working on ‘Inside Out’ and am sure ‘Inside Out 2’ will be great,” Kaling affirmed while speaking to The Wrap.

“But,” she clarified, “I’m not working on it.”

It’s important to note that Mindy Kaling used specific language — stressing that she wasn’t part of the project “right now.” Pixar as a studio is very famous for radically changing projects during production (original plans for Frozen had Elsa as a villain!). Kaling could have theoretically joined the cast in the year-and-a-half between that report and the film’s release.

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Mindy Kaling in May of 2024.
Mindy Kaling speaks onstage during Warner Bros. Discovery Upfront 2024 on May 15, 2024. (Photo Credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Warner Bros. Discovery)

One of the reasons that an actor might or might not end up attached to a project is simple: contract negotiations.

Sometimes it’s about money. That can mean someone’s direct pay, or licensing issues, or even what promotional obligations they have.

It is perfectly reasonable for an actor to hold out for more pay, especially from a large studio. At the same time, sometimes a studio like Pixar will look at its budget and realize that they can hire talented, less famous voice actors with enough left over to pay multiple animators.

Mindy Kaling in May of 2024.
Mindy Kaling attends The 2024 Met Gala Celebrating “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2024. (Photo Credit: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Why doesn’t ‘Inside Out 2’ include Mindy Kaling? Or Bill Hader?

Mindy Kaling, despite being no stranger to speculation and rumor, did not divulge the reason for not returning as Disgust.

It might be easier if Bill Hader publicly explained why he didn’t come back as Fear. Instead, it remains widely reported and believed that the cause was pay disagreements.

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So now, Liza Lapira voices Disgust in the sequel. And Tony Hale (already part of the Pixar family for voicing Forky in Toy Story 4) is stepping up to voice Fear. These are two talented actors with lengthy work histories, and were solid choices to delight audiences.

Mindy Kaling in March of 2023.
Mindy Kaling attends the 2023 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 12, 2023. (Photo Credit: Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)

Inside Out 2 producer Mark Nielsen spoke to LADbible about Kaling and Hader’s departure.

“It’s been nine years since that first film, and you try to get their original cast back together, but it doesn’t always work out,” he stated vaguely.

“Man, we love Bill Hader and Mindy Kaling. They’re always going to be part of this Pixar family,” Nielsen emphasized diplomatically. “But we also love Tony Hale, who was also Forky in Toy Story 4, and Liza Lapira.”

Mindy Kaling: Did She Really Quit ‘Inside Out 2’ Over Money? was originally published on The Hollywood Gossip.

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