Mindy Kaling applauded Anne Hathaway for her reaction to an uncomfortable interview question on the Today show in 2012.
Then-host Matt Lauer, 64, asked the Les Misérables star about an inappropriate photo the paparazzi took and shared. Lauer—who was fired from the show in 2017 for ongoing inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace—called the photo a “wardrobe malfunction.”
Lauer seemed to blame Hathaway for the paparazzi positioning “his camera low so he could take a photo up her skirt,” Kaling noted at Elle’s Women in Hollywood Celebration on Oct. 17.
Lauer told Hathaway he had been “seeing a lot” of her lately, alluding to the paparazzi photo that clearly made its rounds through the press.
“It was obviously an unfortunate incident,” Hathaway responded. “It kind of made me sad on two accounts. One was that I was very sad that we live in an age when someone takes a picture of another person in a vulnerable moment and rather than delete it, and do the decent thing, sells it.”
Kaling and Hathaway were co-stars in Ocean’s 8 in 2018 and formed a great professional and personal relationship. Kaling, 43, said the way Hathaway interacted with Lauer’s “gross” interrogation is what made Kaling fall in love with her.
“From the age of 18 years old [Hathaway] has been objectified regularly,” Kaling said in her speech at the event. Hathaway, now 39, booked her first major role as Mia Thermopolis in everyone’s favorite coming-of-age film, The Princess Diaries, at 18.
“I’m sorry that we live in a culture that commodifies sexuality of unwilling participants, which brings us back to Les Mis, that’s what my character is,” Hathaway continued, clapping back at Lauer. “She is someone who is forced to sell sex to benefit her child because she has nothing and there’s no social safety net.”
The two power women reunited last year for the heist thriller/romantic comedy Locked Down. In the film, Hathaway and her character’s husband, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, attempt a jewelry heist at the London department store Harrods, where Kaling plays an employee.