Here's Why Mindy Kaling Isn't In Inside Out 2

By Gillian Blum Posted:
Mindy Kaling, Inside Out characters

Inside Out 2 hits theaters in just a few days, but fans of the original might notice that the characters of Disgust and Fear sound slightly different from the first movie.

Mindy Kaling and Bill Hader played Disgust and Fear respectively in 2015's Inside Out, but opted not to return for the sequel. In the 2024 Pixar film, the characters are played by Liza Lapira and Tony Hale.

Lapira and Hale will be joined by several of today's comedy stars who will reprise their roles, including Amy Poehler (Joy) and Phyllis Smith (Sadness).

[ Inside Out 2 Emotions: All 10 Emotion Characters & Cast Members Confirmed for Sequel ]

Why Was Mindy Kaling Recast for Inside Out 2?

Mindy Kaling in Inside Out promo

Mindy Kaling and Bill Hader will not be the voices of Disgust and Fear in the upcoming Inside Out 2, which a report indicates could be due to compensation discrepancies.

More specifically, according to Matt Belloni of Puck, Amy Poehler was reportedly paid roughly 50 times more for her return than anyone else. Belloni called this "an insult that was politely declined" by Kaling and Hader.

It is worth noting that Disney reportedly "upped the offer," according to Belloni, but it was "not enough to lure Hader and Kaling:"

"'Inside Out 2,' a sequel to arguably the best Pixar movie, is on the list of Disney reveals for its D23 Expo tomorrow. Sadly, it will be without its original Fear and Disgust, two of the main girl’s emotions, because voice stars Bill Hader and Mindy Kaling have declined to return. The issue was money, I’m told. Star Amy Poehler is making $5 million (plus additional fees and bonuses), but Disney initially offered the other main voice cast just $100,000 (with no bonuses) to return, an insult that was politely declined. Disney upped the offer, but not enough to lure Hader and Kaling. (Disney and the reps declined to comment.)"

Belloni said this is becoming a pattern for Disney lately, citing projects like Chip N' Dale: Rescue Rangers for "talent fees ... [that] were laughably low."

According to Belloni, the studio feels that "the only star an Inside Out movie needs" would be Amy Poehler, hence the drastic compensation offer difference. However, he said that the "other voices added a lot," particularly when it came to the original Inside Out's marketing strategy:

"Going cheap on voice talent is becoming more common at Disney. I’ve heard Pixar people complain about the tightening purse-strings, and talent fees on recent Emmy winner 'Chip N’ Dale: Rescue Rangers' were laughably low. (Stars that participated did so as a favor to director Akiva Schaffer.) Disney figures Poehler is the only star an 'Inside Out' movie really needs, and that’s probably right, but those other voices added a lot, and their names definitely help in marketing, especially if Disney tries to put this sequel in theaters."

Producer Mark Nielson told LADbible that even though they attempted "to get their original cast together" for Inside Out 2, "it doesn't always work out."

While Nielson and the production team do not hold the departures against Hader and Kaling, they are also excited about the additions of Tony Hale and Liza Lapira:

"It's been nine years since that first film, and you try to get their original cast back together, but it doesn't always work out ... Man, we love Bill Hader and Mindy Kaling ... They're always going to be part of this Pixar family ... But we also love Tony Hale, who was also Forky in 'Toy Story 4,' and Liza Lapira."

Kaling herself told TheWrap that she "had a great time" in the first movie and that she is "sure Inside Out 2 will be great," before confirming that she was not involved:

"I had a great time working on 'Inside Out' and am sure 'Inside Out 2' will be great. But I’m not working on it."

Inside Out 2's director, Kelsey Mann, told LADbible that there was no expectation for the new actors to attampt "any kind of impression," preferring instead that they "embodied who the characters were."

He said that these performers "just fit the character so well:"

"I wasn't interested in doing any kind of impressions or anything ... I think that's what I love about Lisa and Tony: they're just being themselves. They just fit the character so well."

Did Inside Out 2 Lose Its Star Power?

Back in 2022, Belloni discussed his fears about the sequel's marketing without big names like Kaling and Hader, as that made up much of the first Inside Out's advertising strategy.

The new voice actors for Disgust and Fear, Liza Lapira and Tony Hale respectively, are not unknown performers themselves. Lapira is known for projects like The Equalizer and 21, and Hale is famous for roles on the likes of Arrested Development and Veep.

Additionally, Poehler (Joy), Phyllis Smith (Sadness), and Lewis Black (Anger) are all reprising their roles from the first movie, maintaining some of that original star-studded cast.

Besides, there are even new additions, too, who bring their own star power to the cast, such as Maya Hawke (Anxiety), Ayo Edebiri (Envy), Adèle Exarchopoulos (Ennui), and Paul Walter Hauser (Embarrassment).

As for how well these new additions fit into the established world of the first movie, fans will have to see for themselves when Inside Out 2 hits theaters on Friday, June 14.

Read more about Inside Out 2 on The Direct:

Inside Out 2 Reviews: Sequel Gets Strong First Reactions Online

Inside Out 2 Gets Unsurprising Rating

Inside Out 2 Gets Exciting Runtime Announcement

- In This Article: Inside Out 2
Release Date
June 14, 2024
Amy Poehler
Phyllis Smith
- About The Author: Gillian Blum

Gillian Blum has been a writer at The Direct since 2022, reporting primarily from New York City. Though she covers news from across the entertainment industry, Gillian has a particular focus on Marvel and DC, including comics, movies, and television shows. She also commonly reports on Percy Jackson, Invincible, and other similar franchises.