Mindy Kaling and BJ Novak briefly dated several years ago, and yet their relationship still serves as an object of public fascination. They’re best friends! But fans of The Office never seem to give up on the dream of Kelly and Ryan. Speculation that the two were together went especially haywire after the birth of Kaling’s daughter, Katherine, in December 2017 (Novak is the baby’s godfather).
In a new interview with CBS Sunday Morning, Kaling was asked if she finds it strange that fans continue to speculate about her relationship with Novak. “It’s nice that people care,” she replied. “I’ve known him for 16 years. We met each other when we were 24 and we’re about to be 40. Anyone who’s known each other for that long … I think it’s nice, I like when people think it’s more romantic or sparkly or interesting than it is.”
“You know who your friends for 16 years are. It’s not that way. He’s a wonderful friend. He’s the godfather to my daughter,” she continued. “I see him every week. It isn’t the thing that people sometimes think it is. He’s really part of my family now, which is great. Even though that’s less of a sexy characterization of our relationship, I think it’s a deeper and a closer one. We do spend a lot of time together and it’s a great blessing in my life.”
Kaling and Novak may no longer be together, but in 2015 they received a reported $7.5 million advance to co-write a book together. In an InStyle cover interview from that year, Kaling characterized her relationship with Novak as “weird as hell.”
"He is not my boyfriend, but he is not my best friend,” she said. “I guess you could describe our relationship as a 'romantically charged camaraderie with loud arguments,' but I don’t think Facebook would accept this as a new status."
The stuff with BJ is all very juicy, but we’re mostly just excited about Late Night.