‘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

Accused Boston bomber’s sister faces judge over bomb…

The sister of the alleged Boston Marathon bomber faced a judge in New York Tuesday on charges that she told her husband's ex-girlfriend she could "put a bomb where you…

National

Actor Tracy Morgan wasn't wearing seatbelt in June…

By Jonathan Stempel(Reuters) - Actor and comedian Tracy Morgan and others in his limousine were not wearing seat belts when their vehicle was struck by…

National

Connected cars: Is AT&T leaving Verizon in its…

By Marina Lopes and Bernie WoodallWASHINGTON/DETROIT (Reuters) - Verizon Communications, the No.1 U.S. wireless carrier known for its widespread coverage, is falling behind its biggest…

Local

Grand jury begins hearing evidence in Eric Garner…

A grand jury began hearing evidence Monday relating to the death of Eric Garner while in police custody in July. Garner, 43, of Staten Island,…

Arts

Artist Laurent La Gamba uses cars to create…

An artist managed to make his friends and family ‘disappear’ – by blending them in with their surroundings using paint.

The Word

The Word: Amanda Bynes returns to form

You know who we haven't heard from in a while? Amanda Bynes. Well, that dry spell is over because Bynes is back! Her parents' conservatorship…

Going Out

Taste what Lower Manhattan is cooking at today's…

The Lower Manhattan food scene has changed a lot in three years, which you can taste first hand when the neighborhood's food festival returns. On…

Television

Review: 'Selfie' tries to coast on the charm…

"Selfie" offers cute leads and some good jokes, but focuses too much on a vague distaste for social media.

NFL

Ryan Quigley making a big impact for Jets…

Ryan Quigley, now in his second year as the Jets punter, had an exceptional afternoon with six punts for an average of 51.7 yards per punt.

NFL

3 positives to take from Jets loss to…

The Jets suffered another loss Sunday — 24-17 to the Lions — but the reason why it hurts so much for Jets fans is that…

MLB

Joe Girardi not confident David Robertson will return…

David Robertson was as seamless as anyone could be replacing Mariano Rivera as he converted 39 saves, with a 3.08 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 64 1/3 innings.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony preaches patience with new coach, offense

While star forward Carmelo Anthony said he’s “enthusiastic” and “optimistic” for the upcoming season, he still wants everyone — from within the locker room and…

Travel

Top celebrity wedding spots from Cheapflights.com

Cheapflights.com picks the best places around the world to tie the knot like George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin. As George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin wed…

Education

How to ace your private school interview

Getting ready for a private school interview can be daunting for many, most of whom might never have been in an interview situation before. We’ve…

Education

5 questions parents should ask while visiting private…

It can be hard to know what to look for when searching for a new school for your child. Parents considering several different schools can…

Education

3 ways to save money on college application…

With the average high school student applying to 5 or 6 schools, hefty application and test score fees can add up quickly. We’ve compiled some…