LOS ANGELES — Wearing a bright Cardinal red blouse, Jenna Fischer laughed as she thought about the very fierce Chicago Cubs-St. Louis Cardinals rivalry. After all, the Fort Wayne, Indiana, native spent her growing-up years in St. Louis and considers the Missouri city “my real hometown, and yes, I am a very avid Cardinals fan.
“We went to Chicago a lot when I was growing up, especially I did a bunch of mother-daughter trips with my mom,” said the actress, who was in a Los Angeles hotel suite to promote “The 15:17 to Paris,” her new film opening Friday. “It was so very accessible — a five-hour drive or so, or a 45-minute flight. Chicago has such great food. It’s so special in the summer. There are so many amazing festivals and outdoor art installations — plus I remember a particularly great Monet exhibition at the Art Institute that was perfect.
“Now while I went to a lot of Cardinals games in St. Louis — even Cardinals-Cubs games — I would have been way too scared to show up wearing a Cardinals shirt at Wrigley Field! Oh no! That would never happen!” the longtime “The Office” star said with a big laugh.
Fischer said she clearly remembered when she heard about the true events behind Clint Eastwood’s “The 15:17 to Paris” — retelling how American soldiers Alek Skarlatos and Spencer Stone and their childhood pal Anthony Stone overpowered heavily armed terrorist Ayoub El-Khazzani, as he began shooting at passengers on a French train. In the movie, Fischer portrays Skarlatos’ mother, Heidi.
“I remembered when I first read it, it reminded me about the folks on the plane on 9/11 — on the plane that didn’t hit its target, that we believe was because the passengers stormed the cockpit and took matters into their hands. I think that anytime a person is willing to put their life at risk for the greater good makes me emotional,” said Fischer. “I’m getting a little tripped up right now just thinking about it. What these guys did — being willing to die to save all the other people on the train. It was an amazing thing. I was so glad they all survived.”
As for making her first film with Eastwood? Fischer admitted, “One of the major pieces of acting I did in this movie was pretending I was totally comfortable when he was around, and not intimidated remembering this was the guy who had won four Oscars and had made ‘Unforgiven,’ ‘Million Dollar Baby,’ ‘American Sniper,’ ‘Mystic River,’ and all the rest of the things he had done in his amazing career!”