Kaling confirmed at Fox's Television Critics Association fall TV previews Monday that she will be returning to the NBC workplace comedy. "I think I'm going to be in the premiere," she said. "I got so attached to that character."
As first reported by Vulture, Kaling is set to appear in at least two episodes during Season 9. However, it is unknown if these upcoming appearances will be her last on the show or if Kelly will continue working at Dunder Mifflin. "It's fun to see what's going to happen to Kelly," she said when asked about Kelly's fate.
In her new series, The Mindy Project, Kaling stars as a more successful, but very single woman trying to juggle her busy career with her search for love. The character sounds worlds away from the talkative, tabloid-obsessed Kelly, but Kaling noted multiple ties to her old stomping grounds. Greg Daniels, who first adapted The Office for American audiences, will direct an upcoming episode of The Mindy Project. "I can just be like, 'Who's the boss now?'" Kaling joked. She also said that her Office co-star John Krasinski had a hand in casting Mindy Project star Chris Messina, when he "passed notes" to Messina, with whom Krasinski starred in 2009's Away We Go.
Kaling even sees a little bit of her character's old on-screen Office boss in her Mindy Project heroine. "This character is not unlike Michael Scott," she said. "She wants to just be a better person. It's so much a part of her life. ... She wants to be a better catch, wants to be a better friend."
Although Kaling noted that The Mindy Project will also be part workplace comedy, like The Office, it will focus much more on love and romance than her old show. "On The Office, so much of the show was disguising your true feelings because it's a mockumentary," Kaling said. "In some ways this is a reaction to that."
The Mindy Project premieres on Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 9:30/8:30c on Fox.