She is warm and affable. Known for her roles in Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi on TV and Krrish and Fashion in movies, Manini Mishra is now playing a "never-tried-before" character yet again an IPS officer in Diya Aur Baati Hum. Manini was in Ahmedabad Times office recently, talked at length. Excerpts:

You have stayed away from saas-bahu dramas till now. What made you choose Diya Aur Baati Hum? Apart from it being the number one show for two years, I liked its aspirational quality. I am a bad liar so I'll admit that I had never seen it. But my role was clearly defined. Every time I choose a role, I see whether it excites me and offers me the potential to challenge myself. Like Pari in Jassi... was completely antithetical to who I am.

Reality shows are now very popular. Will you be a part of any reality show? I am not cut out for them because my family is my priority and I don't want to show my personal life on TV. But I would love to host a show as it gets you in touch with the audience yet keeps you distant from them.

You've played a negative role, done a mythological show, a comedy show and a dance show. What has been most creatively satisfying? Comedy makes me going! Everyone who knows me knows that I am a wickedly mad person. Comedy makes me soar, and comedy is very serious business. I always say, if you want to judge a person, see what he/she laughs at. And over the years, I have figured out when I'm most in pain, I do the best comic work.

There are a lot of comedy shows on TV. Are you following any? Yes, I have seen a few shows. But we should reach a level where comedy is not just for the masses. Why should one make fun of people? Why do we have only 'under the belt' kind of comedy! .

So are you somewhere disappointed with the kind of shows we have on television right now? I feel there is room for improvement. Why don't we have any roles for middle-aged women? Why can't we have more shows like Maryada, or Jo Biwi Se Karee Pyaar, or Phir Subah Hogi! I have been a part of this industry since 2001 and there have been phases. I believe an actor can never be bigger than the character, the story has to be the king.

Tell us about Mihir (Mishra, her second husband). I have become more patient. But I haven't lost my edge! He is more like my friend. My daughter Dianoor (from previous marriage) is nearly 15 now and being a parent is the toughest job in the world.