'The Mindy Project's' Mindy Kaling: 'It's a girl who wishes her life was a movie'

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On "The Mindy Project," premiering Tuesday, Sept. 25, on FOX, Dr. Mindy Lahiri ( Mindy Kaling) is soused at her ex-boyfriend's wedding and makes a fool of herself.

It's bad enough that she's wearing a sequined dress so hideous, that it alone could have killed disco. She leaves, gets on a bicycle and wobbles into a swimming pool, after which she has an imaginary encounter with a talking Barbie. And she still has to go to work as an OB/GYN.

Kaling, best known as Kelly Kapoor on "The Office," draws from her own life for the comedy, which she created.

"My mom was an OB/GYN so I am really familiar with the world," Kaling tells Zap2it while picking at a pizza at a Beverly Hills hotel. "I didn't want to do a mock doc like 'The Office.'"

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She describes the show as "a workplace comedy with a female lead, and it has a lot of the other elements of a romantic comedy movie. It's a girl who wishes her life was a movie."

Mindy, eager to find a man, weathers insults about her desperation, but there is something very real about the character.

"She is fun to write because she has huge blind spots," Kaling says. "She is a little elitist, compared to Michael Scott in 'The Office,' who put the premium on coolness."

Though she doesn't plan to milk the cast of the show that made her a star, do look for Ed Helms in the pilot.

"I love working with Ed because obviously he is such a close friend of mine," she says. "But I don't want to take too many people from 'The Office' too soon. Ed's [appearance is] late in the pilot. People liked it because of the comedy of a blind date."

Given Mindy's (the character, not the actress) track record with men, it's not surprising all doesn't go well.
Photo/Video credit: FOX