Fox Wouldn’t Allow This Mindy Project Lead Character to Be Effeminate or ‘Dorky’

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Photo: Evans Vestal Ward/NBC Universal Television/Hulu

For all of the diehard Mindy Project fans out there, one of the most puzzling aspects of its narrative evolution — especially from Fox to Hulu after three years — has been the distinct character changes that affected Ed Weeks’ portrayal of Jeremy. You see, Jeremy started out as a “man’s man” or lothario type of fellow, frequently seducing women with his British charms and bragging about his conquests to his colleagues at Shulman & Associates. (Remember when Jeremy and Mindy were frequent bedroom buddies?) But when the series moved to Hulu, Jeremy softened tremendously, often being portrayed as a bit of a bumbling fool who couldn’t hold down a woman to save his life. It was … a bit odd. The creatives behind Mindy never had the need to discuss the reasons for this character shift, but at the PaleyFest Fall TV Hulu preview on Friday, Mindy Kaling explained that the network overlords at Fox told her that Jeremy, as a man, had to be portrayed onscreen in a very particular way.

“Being totally honest, on network, there was a direct directive to not make him a dork or someone who was dorky around women,” Kaling said, with her co-star Ike Barinholtz adding, “They were like ‘be a man, he has to be a man.’” As for Weeks, he welcomed the change, and he found it much more fulfilling as an actor to play a “weird, bird-owning, metrosexual, cardio barre going, woman chasing, father admiring” OBGYN. “They’ve begun to see what a loser I am and that has permeated the character,” he explained, “and it’s given Jeremy more vulnerability and sort of more nerdiness and that’s been something that’s been more fun to play.” Here’s hoping Jeremy will find some contentment in the final ten episodes.

Fox Wouldn’t Let This Mindy Project Character Be Effeminate