B.J. Novak says he and Mindy Kaling were 'in love' during 'The Office' and that their 'tumultuous' and 'toxic' relationship inspired their on-screen romance

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BJ Novak and Mindy Kaling
B.J. Novak and Mindy Kaling attend the 2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party together.John Shearer/Getty Images
  • During the Producers Guild of America (PGA) ceremony on Sunday, Mindy Kaling was presented an award.

  • Her ex B.J. Novak presented Kaling with the Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television.

  • Novak gave a speech where he reflected on their time on "The Office" together and being in love.

On Sunday night, the Producers Guild of America awards included a personal tribute from B.J. Novak to his adored former "The Office" colleague, ex-girlfriend, and current best friend Mindy Kaling. Novak presented Kaling with the Norman Lear achievement award in television, tracing their friendship back to the first seasons of "The Office."

In a nearly eight-minute-long speech, Novak praised Kaling's incredible writing talents and her enthusiasm for cultural debates.

"We were in love with each other, and we were reckless idiots, and the two of us would argue about all of these things forever grinding the writers room into a halt until we got too upset and we go to our respective offices and slammed the door where we would continue arguing over AOL and Instant Messenger," Novak said.

He said the rest of "The Office" writers room eventually noticed their relationship dynamics in real life (which Novak says was a "tumultuous, romantic, toxic, boundary-less mess"), and decided to pair the fictional characters of Kelly and Ryan together.

Over 15 years later, Novak and Kaling remain incredibly close to one another. You can read everything Kaling and Novak have said about their relationship here, and watch Novak's speech below.

 

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