US comedy star Mindy Kaling has revealed she personally sent a ‘begging letter’ to Irish rock legend Bono asking him to let her use his hit Beautiful Day in her TV show.
Kaling is the creator of US comedy Never Have I Ever. The series follows the life of a teenage Indian American girl, which of course Kaling was herself.
The lead character struggles to navigate through all the usual pitfalls of being a teenager while also trying to balance life in modern US culture with the traditional Indian values of her family.
It has been a great success and further cemented Kaling’s place as one of the top talents around in US comedy since the turn of the century.
She has previously written and starred in hit comedies the American Office and That Mindy Project.
However, despite her success and ability Kaling did find herself in a bind when she needed to choose a suitable soundtrack for a particularly poignant moment in one episode of Never Have I Ever.
The lead character has lost her father and the family are spreading the ashes in an emotional scene.
Kaling was adamant that the correct song be chosen to accompany the scene and she set her heart on the 2000 rock anthem Beautiful Day by Irish music legends U2.
Given the status of U2 and the success of the song, it would usually be an expensive addition to any TV show or film given the royalties that would need to be paid.
However, Kaling took direct action and wrote a personal letter to U2 frontman Bono requesting permission to use Beautiful Day for the key scene.
The actress and writer said: “We don’t have a huge budget on our show, and we really wanted to use that song.
“I had to write a letter to Bono to use that song in the scene when they’re pouring the ashes out.
“The fact they said yes and that they made it so that we could afford it, it really touched me.”
Big-hearted Bono agreed to let Kaling and her team use the song and it fits perfectly with the scene.
Much of the story and premise for Never Have I Ever were inspired by Kaling’s own experiences as a girl from an Indian family growing up in America.
She spoke about the lead character’s father in the series, and how he was written to reflect many of the traits of her own family members.
Kaling explained: “The way that Mohan is proud of being an Indian but he also loves this country [the USA] and he loves U2 and he loves John McEnroe — that feels so real to my own life, that kind of excitement about moving to this country.
“I inherited that from my parents who moved here.”