Mindy Kaling Says Matt Lauer’s ‘Gross’ Comments Made Her Love Anne Hathaway

Mindy Kaling spoke Monday about a moment of resilience that cemented her love for fellow actor Anne Hathaway.

“From the age of 18 years old [Hathaway] has been objectified regularly, and despite loving her as a performer I’ll tell you when I fell in love with her,” Kaling said at Elle’s annual Women in Hollywood Celebration in Los Angeles, according to People magazine.

The “Mindy Project” actor stated that the defining interaction occurred nearly 10 years ago, when now-disgraced TV personality Matt Lauer made some uncomfortable comments about Hathaway.

From left to right: Actors Sarah Paulson, Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway and Mindy Kaling attend the event CinemaCon 2018 on April 24, 2018, in Las Vegas.
From left to right: Actors Sarah Paulson, Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway and Mindy Kaling attend the event CinemaCon 2018 on April 24, 2018, in Las Vegas.

Alberto E. Rodriguez via Getty Images

Ahead of an interview on NBC’s “Today” show, a paparazzo had snapped an up-skirt photo of Hathaway at the premiere of the 2012 film “Les Misérables.”

“On the Today show the next morning, Matt Lauer said to her in this chastising, someone-has-been-naughty way, ‘Anne Hathaway I’ve seen a lot of you lately,’” Kaling recalled during this week’s event.

“First of all, gross. Are you like a lame uncle at Thanksgiving?” she continued.

“And then he asked her what’s the lesson learned from something like that, referring to paparazzi ambushing her,” Kaling added, remarking that Lauer implied Hathaway was somehow at fault for the inappropriate photo.

Kaling (left) and Hathaway are seen on the set of the film "Ocean's 8" on Dec. 3, 2016, in New York City.
Kaling (left) and Hathaway are seen on the set of the film “Ocean’s 8” on Dec. 3, 2016, in New York City.

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“Annie simply responded, ‘It kind of made me sad on two accounts,’” Kaling said. ”‘One that we live in an age when someone takes a picture of someone in a vulnerable moment and rather than delete it and do the decent thing, sells it. And I’m sorry that we live in a culture that commodifies sexuality of unwilling participants.’”

Lauer would later be fired from his network in 2017 after he was accused of raping an NBC News employee in 2014.

Hathaway and Kaling have worked together twice before — on 2018′s “Ocean’s 8” movie and the 2021 film “Locked Down.”

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