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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Mystery of Brenda Withers

I wasn't going to go there but really, I can't help it anymore. What more do I have to lose - I've already been shunned. I know Mindy won't appreciate this one bit but I've been wondering about this for a while now. 

Mindy Kaling and Brenda Withers

Mindy fans know how she got her big-break alongside her college best friend, Brenda Withers:
In August 2002, Kaling portrayed Ben Affleck in an off Broadway play called Matt & Ben,[17] which she co-wrote with her best friend from college, Brenda Withers—who played Matt Damon. The play was named one of Time magazine's "Top Ten Theatrical Events of The Year," was "a surprise hit" at the 2002 New York International Fringe Festival.[3] Initially, Withers and Kaling had "for their own entertainment, mockingly pretend to be the best friends Matt Damon and Ben Affleck; that pretending spawned “Matt & Ben”, the goofy play that reimagined how Damon and Affleck came to write the movie Good Will Hunting."[3]  (Wikipedia)

In 2006, Brenda did have a brief guest stint on an episode of The Office, the memorable "Booze Cruise."

As of 2011, they were still tight. Mindy not only discussed her BFF Brenda in her book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), there were pics included of them evidencing their best friendship. Mindy also thanked Brenda in the acknowledgments. 

I'm pretty sure I saw a pic of them at an awards show together back in the day because Mindy had brought Brenda as her guest (maybe the one below?).

Brenda's acting credits on IMDb end after a stint on Law & Order in 2010. In 2011, she was acting in a play and in 2013 and 2015 also. So it doesn't seem Brenda has abandoned acting.

All of this brings me to the obvious - Mindy Kaling and Brenda Withers are no longer best friends. Even if they maintain a pretense at a friendship, or they choose not to comment publicly on the dissolution of their friendship, there is no way they are really best friends anymore. 

More rabid Mindy fans may be outraged by my assertion. But, if you exploded into stardom and had your own network television show which is now continuing for its fourth season on Hulu, and said show featured guest stars all the time, would you not cast your struggling actress BFF on even one episode, forget creating a recurring role?

Yea. Exactly. I rest my case.

I'd love to know what happened between Mindy and Brenda but we'll probably never find out. They seem way too private to expose these vulnerabilities to the media. Even if they're both perfectly fine with things as they are, as an outsider I find it kind of sad. I'm guessing it's not what they envisioned as kids when they shared their dreams of making it some day and it must suck for Brenda to feel left behind, even if Mindy has legit reasons for moving on without her. 

Mindy, is there no room for forgiveness? For making amends? Maybe not. Just wondering. 

UPDATE - I called it!

OMG EVEN BETTER UPDATE (2017)!! - Read my reply to (Mindy's???) comment on this post "Why Mindy Blocked Us On Instagram."


  1. I was reading Mindys' new book this week and noticed a huge gaping lack of Brenda mentions but a ton of Jocelyn. I know she used to have a Twitter and IG bc I used to follow Brenda on Twitter. But now, there's no social media anywhere. Obviously a major fallout. Sad.

    Also, I found your account bc of your BrendaWithers hashtag. Nice clip!

    1. Dear Abby Mae,
      You noticed it too! My next Why Not Me? post was going to revisit BW for the same reasons you mentioned. Thank you for commenting and glad you found this site.

    2. Haha just visited your profile and enjoyed reading it. My inner fat kid is giving me Type 2 Diabetes.

  2. Actually googled Brenda Withers and Mindy Kaling friendship to find out the real score. Haha I also had a feeling they had a fallout. No mention on the new book, nothing on Mindy's social media to indicate that she's still around. It's all Jocelyn and weren't the three of them flatmates before?

    1. Yes, the three were besties/roommates after college and now, no mention of Brenda although social media shows Mindy & Jocelyn are still BFFs. Thanks for commenting Priyanka!