Mindy Kaling Did Not Return to Voice Disgust in 'Inside Out 2' for Financial Reasons

Mindy Kaling and Bill Hader were offered just $100,000 to return for the sequel.

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Jun. 17 2024, Updated 10:00 a.m. ET

Mindy Kaling at the premiere of 'Inside Out' in 2015.
Source: Getty Images

While some movie fans may decry Pixar's reliance on sequels instead of new material, Inside Out 2 is looking like a massive win for Disney at the box office. The movie made $145 million in North America alone during its first weekend, and it achieved that feat in spite of the fact that several of the stars of the first installment did not return for the sequel.

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Among the most notable absences are Bill Hader and Mindy Kaling, who played the emotions Fear and Disgust respectively in that first film. Because neither actor has reprised their role, many are wondering exactly what led them to step away from the project.

Mindy Kaling and the cast of 'Inside Out' at the 2015 premiere.
Source: Getty Images
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Why did Mindy Kaling leave 'Inside Out 2?'

The reason that Mindy did not return for Inside Out 2 is actually relatively simple: She and Pixar could not come to an agreement on a contract.

According to reporting in Puck, the Disney brass offered lower salaries to everyone outside of Amy Poehler to return for the sequel. Amy, who plays Joy, the movie's main character, received $5 million, while the rest of the cast was offered just $100,000 to reprise their roles.

Mindy separately confirmed that she wouldn't be returning in an interview with The Wrap, saying that she enjoyed working on the first movie and was sure the second would be great, but that she was not a part of it.

Instead, Disgust is voiced by Liza Lapira, who is a veteran of TV procedurals and may be best known for her work on NCIS.

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Bill Hader stepped back from 'Inside Out 2' for similar reasons.

Like Mindy, Bill Hader's star has risen considerably in the nine years since the first movie was released, and it seems that he also decided not to return for the $100,000 he was offered. Mark Nielson, a producer on the movie, said that while he was sad they weren't able to reunite the original cast in its entirety, he was thrilled by the new vocal talent they were able to bring into the project.

Source: YouTube
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“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," he said. "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.”

It seems like the recastings didn't have a huge impact on the film's box office. The movie has already made a tidy profit, and seems destined to make even more money in the weeks ahead in a summer that features a less crowded box office than usual.

In addition to replacements for the original cast, Inside Out 2 also features a number of new vocal performers, including Maya Hawke, Ayo Edebiri, and Paul Walter Hauser, each of whom play new emotions introduced in the film.

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