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Mindy Kaling reveals what she learned working with Matthew McConaughey on Super Bowl ad

"He is an icon!"
NBC / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Mindy Kaling has had a busy pandemic — she welcomed her second child into the world and has several projects underway — but despite all that, she says she definitely had time to do a Super Bowl commercial with actor Matthew McConaughey.

In the spot, a 2D Matthew McConaughey goes through his day-to-day life both feeling and literally being flat. When he encounters Doritos 3D, he pops back into his normal self. Kaling and talk show host Jimmy Kimmel also briefly make an appearance as McConaughey's shocked colleagues on a late-night show when they see his flat look.

In an interview with TODAY, Kaling explained that she'd been excited to be asked to be in the commercial, not just as a Doritos fan, but also to hang out with Kimmel and McConaughey.

"I was psyched," she said, laughing, adding that she used to keep Doritos in her trailer. "It was so easy and so fun. And as you can see, all I had to do is be like, 'Huh?'"

She added that she didn't know McConaughey very well but she'd read his memoir, "Greenlights," before filming.

"I had just read his autobiography as preparation for my 'role,'" she said, drawing out the word "role," sarcastically. "It's a great read. I highly recommend it."

She said she'd been impressed by the book and by McConaughey's take on life.

"He's someone who's really real," she explained.

"I'm 40 and I have, like, no central philosophies about anything. I just kind of get by," she said with a chuckle. "And he is a guy who, like, really has a take on life."

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Kaling, who went on to joke that McConaughey should hire her as his publicist for lauding his book, has written several herself over the years — including "Nothing Like I Imagined," which came out last year.

"If he'll watch this, he'll be like, What is her name? Oh, yes. She was in my Doritos commercial," she quipped, adding that she'd been a McConaughey fan during the mid-aughts romantic comedy golden age.

"Remember that about him, he is an icon!" she said, good-naturedly.

While Kaling's excited to be back on set and working amid the COVID-19 pandemic, she said she was grateful to have had more time with her kids during the lockdown.

"I have gotten to know my children better, which you know, is good and they better know me better, for better or for worse," she said. "And you know what, I think the biggest thing I learned is I've always thought of myself as a homebody. And this really taught me that I am not, when confronted with an actual homebody. I'm like, 'No, I want to I want to go out!'"

She added that one of the nicest things about filming the commercial was getting to leave her house in general.

"I got to, like, be on a fake talk show and (wear) a glamorous dress that my costume designer Sal Perez created for me for the ad and you know, free-flowing Doritos in my trailer," she laughed. "And getting to talk to a handsome actor! So that was fun for me."