Diane Kruger said, “I can’t believe that I only have been to Chicago once — and it was like 15 years ago!”

Calling to talk about her film “In the Fade” (opening Friday), the actress known for “Inglourious Basterds” and TV’s “The Bridge” explained, ” I was filming one of my first movies, ‘Wicker Park.’ Not only was it a very long day, but all of my scenes were shot outside — and it was in the middle of a wintertime.

“Now, I’m from Germany, so I know all about cold — but that was a cold I had never known before,” the actress said with a laugh. “But the warmth of the film crew and all the people I met in Chicago more than made up for it. Plus there were a couple of people who knew I was German, and they wanted to practice their German with me. That was sweet.”

“In the Fade” won the best actress award for Kruger at the Cannes Film Festival last spring — and it already has won best foreign film at both the Critics Choice Awards and the Golden Globes. While not nominated for an Oscar Tuesday, it’s Kruger’s first feature made in her native German.

In the film, Kruger’s character loses both her Kurdish Turkish husband and their son in a terrorist bombing.

“A friend in New York got me in touch with a self-help group for survivors. They allowed me to sit in with them six months before I started filming. In the beginning I was asking a lot of questions and then, very quickly, I realized that I needed to shut up and just sit there and listen to their stories — and did so for months. Their stories and grief haunted me, and made me realize it was a real responsibility. I had to become a voice for these women, for the people who are left behind.”