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Pittsburgh 'great' in Reacher movie, says author

Karen Ballard - (Left to right) Tom Cruise is Reacher, Lee Child is desk sergeant and Rosamund Pike is Helen in JACK REACHER, from Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions. OS-12135R
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Karen Ballard</em></div>(Left to right) Tom Cruise is Reacher, Lee Child is desk sergeant and Rosamund Pike is Helen in JACK REACHER, from Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions. OS-12135R

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Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, 8:54 p.m.

Author Lee Child's book isn't the only thing that's made it onto the big screen.

“I can say I starred in a movie with Tom Cruise and Rosamund Pike,” says Child, who makes a cameo appearance as a police sergeant in the new movie “Jack Reacher” based on his book “One Shot.” “I was happy to do it.”

“One Shot” is the ninth book in the Jack Reacher series. Child's new book, “A Wanted Man,” will come out in September as No. 17. At last count, Child has been published in 95 countries and 40 languages with 60 million copies sold worldwide.

His small role gave Child some insight into the time commitment required by actors. What he experienced during production was minor compared to the effort Cruise puts into it. It was the actor's toughness that Child recognized immediately, starting at 7 a.m. the day his cameo was filmed.

“I thought that was quite early, but here I find that Tom Cruise had been filming for 36 hours straight, and he had an injured hand and never complained about it once.” Child says. “It was then that I realized that he really was Reacher. They definitely picked the right guy.”

And the right city.

Child says he enjoyed his time in Pittsburgh, visiting several times during filming.

“I love Pittsburgh,” says Child, who will be in town for the premiere. “I grew up in an industrial city in England and went to college in Sheffield, which is the ‘Steel City' of England. So, I felt right at home in Pittsburgh. It's my kind of city and my kind of people.”

It wasn't exactly the place he first had in mind for the city in the movie, because it is a little too “famous” and a little too “distinctive,” he says.

He initially thought it would take place in more of what he calls a “heartland “ location. The Indiana city in the book was made up. But the film needed a real city, and he says Pittsburgh turned out to be perfect.

“Pittsburgh is such a handsome city,” he says. “Pittsburgh looks great. There is a certain energy in Pittsburgh.”

Child captured his time in Pittsburgh with souvenir photos.

“It was a really nice experience,” Child says. “I will treasure it. And I want the people of Pittsburgh to understand how much fun it was for us. I know that Pittsburgh is known for its three rivers, but I want to add that it should be known for its three H's — honest, helpful and hardworking.”

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