Ever wonder why the Mindy Project character Jeremy (played by Ed Weeks) changed so drastically from the pilot episode to his current state in the upcoming sixth and final season?
It was a largely a result of the jump from Fox to Hulu, writers Mindy Kaling and Ike Barinholtz explained at the PaleyFest Fall TV Hulu preview on Friday.
Kaling and Barinholtz revealed that the shift in Jeremy’s character was a combination of getting to know Weeks’ strengths and idiosyncrasies as an actor, as well as the network change. “Being totally honest, on network, there was a direct directive to not make him a dork or someone who was dorky around women,” explained Kaling.
“They were like ‘be a man, he has to be a man,'” added Barinholtz.
Jeremy has evolved a lot over the years — from a callous lothario in the pilot to a “weird, bird-owning, metrosexual, cardio barre going, woman chasing, father admiring guy” as Ed Weeks put it.
“It’s just been a joy,” Weeks said of the evolution. “We have a fantastic and fearless leader in Mindy who is not afraid to make big changes and make sweeping changes and just work tirelessly to find what’s best for the characters, what’s funniest – and so, from the beginning, I’ve trusted in them. And, in turn, they’ve got to know me and they’ve begun to see what a loser I am and that has permeated the character and it’s given Jeremy more vulnerability and sort of more nerdiness and that’s been something that’s been more fun to play.”
Kaling said she has relished the chance to explore this side of the character. “It’s much funnier to have him get into situations,” she said. “And by the way, more likable — it makes everyone root for him, rather than the guy that just dates a bunch of women.”
Indeed, many fans are hoping Jeremy will finally find romantic happiness after a series of bad relationships involving his girlfriends choosing his best friends over him.
Weeks teased Jeremy’s concluding arc, saying, “Over the course of six seasons Mindy and the writers really uncovered his insecurity. His parents were kind of mean to him, he was sent away to boarding school – he has a lot of pain, a lot of scars. He finds it hard to trust women, but now there’s a chance of happiness and what he needed is someone who’s a loser the same way he is.”
The Mindy Project returns for its final season on Sept. 12.