‘The Office’ star Jenna Fischer takes on a ‘Giant Mechanical Man’

Jenna Fischer stars as an unfulfilled adult in "The Giant Mechanical Man," currently screening at the Tribeca Film Festival. It opens in NYC on Friday.

Jenna Fischer can now add “producer” to her résumé — “The Giant Mechanical Man” marks the first time she’s co-produced a movie and, as she tells it, she was willing to do anything to get it done — even if the jobs weren’t all that glamorous. Did we mention that she’s also the film’s leading lady? Fischer plays Janice, a woman who’s unsure about the path she’s on as an adult.

We heard you shot this movie in 19 days.
We shot the movie in the dead of winter, in Detroit, in 19 days. It was actually so invigorating and exciting to be part of something that was just so indie, I have to say. And everyone just came together and they were so up for it. Chris [Messina, her co-star] had one day off and on his day off he worked with the crew as a camera assistant. I had a couple mornings off and I would come to set and clean the bathroom. If there’s like 50 people all using one restroom it gets messy — you gotta go in there and clean it up, make sure there’s hand towels, you know, stuff like that. That was the producing side of me — someone has to do it, right? A producer’s list is very long. It includes very important contract negotiations all the way down to toilet paper in the bathroom.

Will you try producing again?
I hope. I actually really enjoyed producing and acting at the same time. It’s hard for me, as an actor when I’m on set, to just sit and wait to act. I feel this, like, anticipation to perform. When they light a scene … it takes an hour and a half and the actor has nothing to do during that time. That’s always a time that makes me feel very nervous because I’m just thinking about my lines and my performance, so being able to produce in that hour and a half was such a nice distraction.

Have you ever had an experience like Janice, where you weren’t sure about the direction your life was taking?
Of course. I mean, that’s at my core. I feel like my personality doesn’t really reflect that side of me as much anymore. I’m a very driven person, I think way more driven than, say, Pam [from “The Office”] or Janice. In middle school I felt very invisible. I had a lot of dreams that I didn’t know how to accomplish and I wondered if they would ever come true, and I was very shy. I definitely know what it feels like to live life in the background. I don’t know if this is true of everyone, but I feel like who we were in middle school really stays with you. So I come to these events and I have the hair and the makeup and the jewelry and they put these cute dresses on me, but I feel like the girl who didn’t have Guess jeans and an Express shirt, looking at all the other pretty girls wondering if I’ll ever have my day in the sun. So I love playing these characters because they feel like me. It feels like dress up to do all the fancy stuff.

What’s coming up on “The Office”?
The last episode is called “Family Portrait Studio,” and Jim and I bring our kids in for a family portrait. I don’t want to give anything away, but I loved our family portrait so much that I asked for a copy because it’s so funny. That’s our finale: Dwight sets up a photo studio in the office, and Jim is afraid that it is all an elaborate prank to steal our children.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

NHL

Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.