#Nia Vardalos: Greece will rise up from economic crisis
With the release of the sequel to “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” next week in Europe, the pressure is already on for a third film – “And I’m like, ‘Hang on!’ During number two, a lot of ideas did start coming to me, and I’m not done with Toula and her family yet. I would like to take them back to Greece, so I’m looking through my schedule to try to make time.
“Any excuse to go to Greece to be honest, and anything I might be able to do that helps the economy and the people right now.”
Vardalos goes back to Greece to visit family and take in her favourite spot overlooking the caldera in Santorini at least once a year.
“People are struggling in Greece. In Athens, you see that the buildings can’t be maintained and my own cousins are struggling. It’s heart-breaking. But in time, we will rise up. I have tremendous belief in the Greek people. We do best – as evident with the Syrian refugees – when faced with adversity, that’s when the Greek character really comes out. We are proud people and incredibly generous. I haven’t paid for Greek salads since the first movie – even now, however much I insist!”
Vardalos’s family is the key to her success. The film is so autobiographical that even the names are the same. Her husband is a non-Greek called Ian (Gomez, also an actor) and she really does have an Aunt Voula: “She’ll show you the tiny scar where she claims they took out her twin. Whenever I introduce her to anyone she’ll say, ‘I’m the real Aunt Voula. The original!’”
And her parents really did freak out about her leaving home – “The only way I got to go away to theatre school (she is an alumni of Chicago’s Second City theatre troupe) was by telling my dad that 500 people auditioned across Canada, they only accepted 25 kids and I was the only Greek. He reluctantly said ‘Entaxi’ [meaning OK in Greek].”
Source: Radio Times, and THETOC.GR