The poster girl for quirky, this talented actress, singer and author is no stranger to the business. Born to an Academy Award-nominated cinematographer father and an actress mother, Deschanel got her start in supporting roles and worked her way up to having her own show. Her dark bangs, ivory skin and sparkling blue eyes coupled with her charm, talent and adorkable personality makes her the quintessential indie dream girl.
Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts to an architect father and a gynecologist mother, Kaling may not have been born into the business, but it was clearly in her blood. She is an actress, comedian, producer and writer. Self-proclaimed rom-com lover and girly girl, she created, stars in and writes on her own show, The Mindy Project, which also makes her the first South Asian-American woman to be the lead character in her own network television show.
Zooey Deschanel: Known for playing Jess on the sitcom New Girl, Deschanel is no stranger to playing cute, kooky characters. She received a great deal of acclaim for her role in the romantic comedy-drama 500 Days of Summer, and has a long list of credits to her name. She has been nominated for Emmy, Golden Globe and Grammy Awards. Not only is she an incredibly talented actress, but she also sings and plays the banjo, keyboards, percussion, and ukulele too!
Mindy Kaling: In 2003, she co-wrote Matt and Ben, a play in which she portrayed Ben Affleck. Time Magazine named it one of the Top Ten Theatrical Events of the Year. A couple years later, at 24 years old, Kaling joined NBC's The Office where she was the only female writer. She then she went on to play Kelly Kapoor on the show, but continued to write and even directed and executive-produced some episodes. She has been nominated for a handful of Screen Actors Guild, Emmy and Writers Guild Awards.
Zooey Deschanel: A Capricorn to the bone, it sounds like work always comes first with this one. She doesn't take a break — during her entire hiatus from New Girl, she was on tour with her band She & Him. Very disciplined, she does not go out after shows and always makes sure to eat healthy while on the road.
Mindy Kaling: From her book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), she says: "I'm not married, I frequently use my debit card to buy things that cost less than three dollars, and my bedroom is so untidy it looks like vandals ransacked the Anthropologie sale section. I'm kind of a mess." I think that's understandable, considering she gets to work at 6 a.m. and is in almost every scene. She wraps at 7 p.m. but then stays in the writer's room until 2 a.m.!
Zooey Deschanel: She claims she always makes sure to visit health food stores in every city she's in and to exercise every day. She doesn't eat sweets, but loves to bake and cook for friends.
Mindy Kaling: Also from her book: "Since I am not model-skinny, but also not super-fat and fabulously owning my hugeness, I fall into that nebulous 'Normal American Woman Size' that legions of fashion stylists detest. For the record, I'm a size 8 (this week, anyway). Many stylists hate that size because, I think, to them, I lack the self-discipline to be an aesthetic, or the sassy confidence to be a total fatty hedonist. They're like 'Pick a lane.'" She isn't desperately trying to change herself to fit in, and I respect that.
Zooey Deschanel: In 2012, TMZ reported Deschanel gave $1,500 a month to various charities. She has been vocal about a handful of the causes she supports. Most recently, she's been involved with Pantene Pro V's Beautiful Lengths campaign, which collects donated hair to make wigs for women fighting cancer.
Mindy Kaling: She gives time and money to an assortment of charities. Kaling has lent her voice to a Fox PSA for pancreatic cancer, attended the Hilarity for Charity event and has given to charities for her birthday rather than receive gifts.
Zooey Deschanel: She adopted two adorable rescue dogs, Zelda and Dot, from a Los Angeles shelter earlier this year.
Mindy Kaling: Given her schedule (6 a.m. to 2 a.m.), I'm assuming she doesn't have the time right now.
Zooey Deschanel: She attended Northwestern University for a short while, but then left to pursue acting full time.
Mindy Kaling: She attended a private school in Cambridge and went on to attend Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.
Zooey Deschanel: She was married to Ben Gibbard, the lead singer of Death Cab for Cutie, but they divorced in 2012. She has been with screenwriter Jamie Linden since her separation from Ben last year. Looks like she's a relationship gal. You can hear hipster boy hearts across the world crumbling to the floor.
Mindy Kaling: She didn't start dating until senior year in college and, as of last year, claimed to have only had four boyfriends. She has been previously linked to her Office co-star B. J. Novak and to writer Benjamin Nugent. She claims she doesn't have time to date right now (again, 6 a.m. to 2 a.m.!).
So are you a New Girl or a Mindy fan? Vote for your favorite below, and don't forget to check out these two hilarious, hard-working women this week on Fox. Both shows premiere Sept. 17, 2013.
Mara Marini is a Canadian film, television and theater actress perhaps best known for her recurring role as Brandi Maxxxx on the hit NBC comedy series Parks and Recreation. Marini has also appeared in a number of indie comedy and horror films. In 2013, she launched a popular digital comedy video series called Inside Dating on Break.com, will soon be guest-starring on Disney's Kickin' It and shooting a politically incorrect feature comedy this fall. For more information on Mara, check out her official website www.maramarini.com, follow her on Facebook or on Twitter at @popgloss.
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