SANTA MONICA, CALIF. — Like millions of long-suffering Cubs fans, Ike Barinholtz remains ecstatic about the team’s epic World Series win last fall, but he still is upset about one very important aspect of the North Siders’ journey to breaking that 108-year drought.
“It all started out great. My wife and I flew home and got to see Game 3,” said the Chicago native who grew up on the North Side and attended the Latin School of Chicago. “Unfortunately, that was one they lost, even though it was cool to be at the first World Series game at Wrigley in more than seven decades.” Then the actor revealed “the disappointment of the decade!”
“I actually had tickets for Game 4 — for me and my Dad to go — given to me by the Cubs. Then disaster hit: I came down with a 103-degree temperature. I came down with the flu and couldn’t go to Game 4. It was like the plot of a Vince Vaughn movie,” quipped Barinholtz, who also revealed his father’s disbelief.
“He said, ‘You have tickets from the Cubs — to see them play in the World Series! — and you can’t go?!’
“He still hasn’t gotten over it. It was pretty heartbreaking,” said Barinholtz, who added, “However, when we got back to L.A. — it was pretty exciting, watching those last three games.”
As for that heavily jeweled World Series rings presented to the Cubs, Barinholtz hooted, “It looks like it belongs on Rihanna’s finger! Talk about major bling!”
As of this interview, he had yet to watch retired Cubbie David Ross’ moves on “Dancing With the Stars,” “but I do love seeing Anthony Rizzo making fun of him on Twitter. It warms the cockles of my heart.”
In his new movie “Snatched” (opening Friday), Barinholtz plays the son of Goldie Hawn and brother of Amy Schumer. “Jeffrey is very complicated,” said Barinholtz. “He has agoraphobia and doesn’t like to leave the house. Right away, thinking about this guy, I kind of started thinking about video games that he likely would be playing all day. He struck me as a guy who perhaps had a rough time in life, and now has retreated back to living with his Mama.”
Suddenly, Barinholtz sort of went into character and imitated the way his Jeffrey called Hawn “Ma-MAH” in the film. “To be honest, I just imitated my daughter,” admitted the actor. “She’s 4 years old and is named Foster — after the street in Chicago.
“No! I’m kidding — she’s named for [influential writer] David Foster Wallace. That’s much better than naming her after a street that’s mainly just car dealerships,” joked Barinholtz. “But our Foster does run our household, and she’s always going, ‘Ma-Mah! I’m hungry! … Ma-Mah! I want to go outside!’
“When I first showed my wife the movie, her immediate reaction was to dis me: ‘You’re just imitating our daughter!’ ”
Now that Barinholtz’s long-running TV show “The Mindy Project” is about to come back for its sixth and final season, the Chicago native — who first came to national attention on “MADtv” — stressed that it was Mindy Kaling’s show “that really made my career take off.” The actor pointed to his chance to be in films like the two “Neighbors” flicks and “Sisters,” and the shot at co-writing the “Central Intelligence” movie, that “all grew out of my being on ‘The Mindy Project.’ It’s been such big part of my life.”
Yet, despite all his success in Hollywood, it’s clear Barinholtz deeply misses his Chicago area roots. “My grandmother still lives in Skokie and drives at night — and she’s 93! … I come back home whenever we can. If it’s over 50 degrees I have to go for a jog or walk on the lake. I must have deep-dish pizza, but everyone says that, right?”
There is one final thing about Chicago he never realized until he became a father. “The one thing I learned living outside of Chicago was how it’s such a great city for children. I love to bring my kids back to Maggie Daley Park or Millennium Park. We love walking around downtown and looking up at all the tall buildings. My daughter is so awestruck by those big buildings in the Loop.
“It’s been fun taking them to the Original Pancake House and the Art Institute. Those are positive things,” he said. “Much better than simply going to the Old Town Ale House and drinking until your liver fails.”