'Mindy Project' Cast Talks Odd 'Downton Abbey' Comparisons, Mocks Chris Messina

Ike Barinholtz Chris Messina Mindy Project Paley H 2013
Kevin Parry for Paley Center for Media

Just a few days after receiving an early renewal for a sophomore season, the cast of Fox's The Mindy Project and showrunner Matt Warburton took the stage during Friday's PaleyFest session.

And while the gratefulness over the sophomore season was a recurring theme over the course of the night, no subject was more preferred by the cast than co-star Chris Messina, his serious nature on set and their often dead-on impersonations of the Argo star.

Mindy Kaling, Ed Weeks and Ike Barinholtz all indulged in copying Messina's voice, but it was Barinholtz who kept steering the conversation back to their blushing co-star. Barinholtz, who first joined the series as a writer, brought most of the laughs during the panel -- particularly when he tried to define his oddball alter ego, nurse Morgan Tookers.

PHOTOS: The Scene at PaleyFest 2013

"If it was Downton Abbey, he'd be the servant always trying to hang out with the Crawleys," said Barinholtz. "Leaning over and being like, 'Can you believe these servants?'"

In the way of news, Kaling did confirm that she'd be using the summer hiatus to write a follow-up to her best-selling book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) and that she'll be appearing in the upcoming series' finale of The Office.

The return to her old stomping grounds was first acknowledged in January by executive producer Greg Daniels.

“It’s really exciting,” said Kaling, who films her scenes this coming week. “I just read the pages, and it’s a really amazing episode."

Prior to their panel, PaleyFest screened the next original outing for The Mindy Project, "Mindy's Birthday." Among other things, the episode offers a an opportunity for Beth Grant to formally integrate herself as a series regular with a big appearance for the former nurse Beverly, and, much like the night, it makes Messina's Danny the butt of the biggest joke.