Mindy Kaling Explains Why She Identified with ‘Velma’ Growing Up

Mindy Kaling, who is also an executive producer, voices Velma in the new series named after the iconic character, which is set to premiere in 2023 on HBO Max. At New York Comic Con, I had the pleasure of attending a press conference with the talented actress and Charlie Grandy!

VELMA is an adult animated comedy series telling the origin story of Velma Dinkley, the unsung and underappreciated brains of the Scooby-Doo Mystery Inc. gang.

I asked about what Kaling’s relationship with the beloved franchise was like prior to taking on the role and what made her want to focus the story on Velma rather than the whole Scooby gang.

“There is not a lot of representation — obviously, zero representation of like, Indian American girls of color [in] ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s animation,” she expressed to me. “What I loved about that character, she’s the closest to what I could see: smart, A student, thick glasses that are always falling off, and skeptical. She has a lot of these amazing qualities. So as a kid, watching the reruns at that point of the original Scooby-Doo, I felt like, ‘Man, I really identify with this character, I love that she exists. She’s not traditionally gorgeous or anything, she just helps the gang out because she’s so smart.’ When I joined Warner Brothers and they had access to all the Hanna-Barbera canon, it was like I was instantly drawn to that and so was Charlie.”