Nia Vardalos says it’s not realistic that ugly guys get such hot girls in the movies

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Nia Vardalos of My Big Fat Greek Wedding finds it tiresome that people constantly ask her about her recent 40 pound weight loss when she has so many other things going on in her life, like the adoption of a three year-old girl. Vardalos is also annoyed that when she did press for Greek Wedding five years ago journalists frequently asked her if it was realistic that her character, who went from frumpy to cute over the course of the film, would be able to bag an attractive guy like John Corbett. There’s a double standard in movies, claims Vardalos, because we often see unattractive guys with super hot women and no one questions it. What’s more is that heavy famous men aren’t criticized for their weight like women are. I love how outspoken she is in this article. She’s fed up and blunt but she’s not rude about it and is just telling it like it is.

It’s just weight. Just 40 pounds of fat now gone from my body, but wow, it’s pretty much all I get asked about. In the last year, I got to star in a movie, wrote and directed my next one, and adopted a three year old from American Foster Care. But guess what I’m asked…how did I lose the weight?

I am embarrassed to be in the position of answering questions about my body again. On the publicity tour of ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ I was asked over and over again, if, as the writer, I felt it was a fair depiction of real life to have someone of my er, below average looks, hook up with hottie John Corbett.

It’s been years, and I have sat through many a movie like Sideways, where nobody blinks an eye when Paul Giamatti gets together with gorgeous Virginia Madsen. And, then ‘Knocked Up’….well, the visual of Seth Rogan on top of Katherine Heigl made me put the popcorn down and reach for my purse. Not because I was grossed out but because I knew the film was about to stop and Ashton Kutcher would now jump out and go “aha, you’ve been punked, that would never happen.” I waited. But no Ashton. The film went on. And many a reviewer, who probably look like sweet Seth (yes even the women) gave it a thumbs up.

Yes, there’s a double standard for women. Whatever. Yawn, we all know it, perpetuate it – we make it worse every time we buy a magazine showing “Stars with Cellulite.” And women, we do buy those magazines. Yes, we do. No, not just at the airport – you have a subscription, admit it. So do I.

So, it’s our fault. Let’s accept it and move on. Socially, the issue of men’s weight is simply not a big deal. Let’s face it: Russell Crowe is fat and no one ever talks about it. Alec Baldwin just orders his suits a size bigger and we continue to swoon.

[From via US Weekly]

Vardalos goes on to write that when she tells people how she lost weight – she worked hard for a year and dieted and exercised, they don’t want to hear it because they’re looking for a magic secret, not the truth. If you’re heavy, or if you’re not, she doesn’t see why it’s such a big deal:

So, what exactly is up with my weight loss? I get hit with this awkward question daily and have answered it in press interviews, at the grocery store, at the newspaper stand. Why? Because I see their anxious, open faces needing the secret, the new pill, the cure, anything. Just please share the secret. So I hesitantly answer and am always met with the same response: the glaze-eye slack-jawed face.

Because they don’t want to hear the truth: I had a blood sugar problem so my Doctor ordered me to lose weight, it was really hard but I did it through diet, exercise and it took a year.

This is when the boredom sets in on the querying person. I might as well just shove an Ambien up their nostril. The gleam in their eye fades and they get sleepy.

No one wants to hear the facts about weight loss. It’s simple. Take that bag of Doritos and throw it as far as you can. Now chase after it. Pick it up, do it again.

Or don’t. You don’t have to lose weight, unless like me, it becomes an issue of health. I thought I was attractive when I shot ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding.’ Studio executives and movie reviewers let me know I had a confidence in my looks that was not shared by them. In other words: they labeled me with words like, overweight, unattractive, unappealing. Hey, just say fat. I love the word fat. I used it in the title. It’s actually not a naughty word. We give it a power it actually doesn’t have. So, you’re fat. Big deal.

If now, I have a sudden validity because I look different on the red carpet, check out my Before pics on my Twitter. (@NiaVardalos) I am showing what happens before Team Miracle comes over in the Hazmat suits and works on me for a few hours. Anyone can look like they make me look. That’s why most malls offer a Glamour Shots booth.


Here are the before and after makeover pics that Vardalos posted on her twitter. She also has plenty of pictures of her friends and family and the fun stuff she does, like going to Greek festivals and eating. What do I have to do to hang out with Nia Vardalos? She seems awesome and I love her perspective on body image and weight. Nia is doing the promotional rounds for her new film which came out two weeks ago, My Life in Ruins, a romantic comedy set in Greece.

Nia Vardalos is shown at the premiere of My Life in Ruins on 5/31/09. Credit: She is also shown in stills from the movie

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39 Responses to “Nia Vardalos says it’s not realistic that ugly guys get such hot girls in the movies”

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  1. boomchakaboom says:

    Now that’s what I call a role model. Thank you!

    Um, Aussie, I kinda think you maybe didn’t read the whole article?

  2. Mrs.Darcy says:

    So is this movie a sequel to MBFGW? Sure it was unrealistic, in the movie world, that she bagged men more attractive (in stereotypical terms) than her, that’s the point. No one bats an eyelid when it’s reversed, it gets analyzed to death when it’s the frumpy girl and the hot guy. I don’t think it doesn’t reflect real life though, I see “mismatched” couples of both types every day, they are happy, they obv. offer each something not obvious to the first impression. Men are not quite as narrow minded as Hollywood would have you think. I think it’s sweet and indicative of reality that she gets these films made, more so than most of the Hollywood, old/fat dudes bagging hot twentysomethings. She is so grounded and unique, I for one am glad she’s making movies.

  3. Enonymous says:

    She is absolutely right. When I see ugly guys getting the hot girls in movies (when in reality most of those attractive women would not even piss on the guys even if they were on fire let allow get into a relationship with them) I always roll my eyes while thinking that this is just for the geeky writers to finally live their lives through their characters they write about and finally get all the hot girls that they never could in reality eg. Knocked Up a.k.a Seth Rogan. It is just an ego boost for them and their male audience (it is more a shallow concept then anything) and calculating that there is a much higher percentage of male then female writers/directors out there, this movies are more common.

  4. wif says:

    I support the “ugly guy gets hot girl” scenario in movies and TV because I like the idea that people want more than looks in a romantic interest. As such, I whole heartedly support the “ugly girl gets hot guy” plot. I think one of the issues though is that we expect women to look for something deeper (which is why we can accept that storyline time and again) but we never expect it of men (which is why John Corbett seemed such a surprising choice.) Perhaps we need to stop expecting less from men than we do from women.

  5. Cinderella says:

    The only time I see a homely guy with a hot chick is when there is a fat wallet involved.

  6. boomchakaboom says:

    Cinderella: That is the reality, isn’t it?

  7. CandyKay says:

    That isn’t always true. I dated a homely guy for two years, and he was no richer than I was. But he had a great personality – funny, giving, honest, and everybody loved him. The party really started when he got there.

    My mother complained about his looks constantly, however.

  8. Sue says:

    What a role model. I really like her.

  9. Ronnie says:

    The visuals may count in the first glance, but I’d rather be with someone who makes me laugh out loud, have great conversations that count then to sit silently and look at them and congratulate myself with being with someone hot. It’s all in their eyes, their smile, their attitude and the way you feel when they are in the room. Some of the hottest people I knew had that special mix of sexiness, brains and bad jokes..loved it.

  10. belindaya says:

    What is the matter with this world ?She has many things going on in her life and all she is asked is about her weight loss??
    Gosh , hollywood deserves it s nickname of lalaland!!
    she is right about the double standards.If you are woman you HAVE to be a perfect mom … without stretch marks or cellulite , a perfect wife, a perfect lover … but not a slut , working … but taking care of everyone , be young … but mature , be intelligent .. but not cocky…being thin (even if you are 80) … without dieting !!
    Yep that ‘s easy:)

  11. Mollybloom says:

    I love the point she makes that of all the momumental changes in her life in the last few years (adopting a child, writing several movies) the only thing any one cares about is her weight. It drives me nuts that whenever a celeb has a baby, all anyone ever asks about is the weight–and they just pander to it. It’s never “Tell me about how motherhood has changed your life!” it’s always “How are you planning on losing the baby weight?”

    It’s as if all of women’s lives and life experiences are meaningless compared to that number on a scale.

  12. MsEmme says:

    Wait. John Corbett is hot?! One word: Moobs.
    I LOVED reading what she wrote though, it is true and challenging.

  13. Aspen says:

    I’m nowhere NEAR as hot as my husband, and he worships the ground I walk on. He is seriously a drop-dead 8.5 – 9 while I hover in the 7-ish range on a good day when I really spend effort on my outfit, hair, and makeup.

    I see pretty women with not-so-hot men pretty regularly, too.

    Unlike Hollywood, in real life, people get past looks in about a week. Compatibility and personalities take over from there.

    I know that my husband “knows” that I am no Angelina, but that doesn’t mean I’m not attractive in my own way.

    This Nia woman has made me giggle and impressed the hell out of me for years. I’m SO glad she’s still working and successful. She seems like the kind of woman who REALLY deserves it through talent, tenacity, and personality.

  14. Codzilla says:

    Aspen: I know what you mean. In fact, my husband is a full-fledged ten (Welsh, with dark brown hair and stunning blue eyes), and he’s adored me through two pregnancies, stretch marks, and everything else. On paper, our partnership makes absolutely no sense. But in real life, our personalities, humor, aspirations, and even our quirks, all match perfectly.

    I wish more people in Hollywood were like Nia. She’s an exceptional person.

  15. inked613 says:

    i think i have a new girl crush. love her!

  16. Zoe says:

    I totally don’t agree with her. One of the prettiest women I know is dating a super ugly guy. Not everyone is superficial, and a lot of pretty people especially because they grow tired of people focusing on their beauty all the time so they know to look elsewhere. Plus what one person considers ugly another person doesn’t. Just because Nia Vardalos lost some weight doesn’t make her an expert on superficial behavior.

  17. the original kate says:

    i love her and i agree: in movies it is very common for hot women to fall for schlubby guys, or the other standard where old distinguished guy gets the hot woman half his age. although maybe in LA that is normal, i don’t know.

  18. Granger says:

    It’s a known fact that the reason Ron Jeremy is (was) the biggest star in the porn industry for so many years is because men loved seeing a butt-ugly guy having hot animal sex with gorgeous women.

    I love everything Vardalos says. But I still can’t get out of my mind the picture I saw of her on a magazine cover at the supermarket this morning. I wish I could remember which magazine — but the point is, she was so airbrushed I had to lean in close to actually figure out who she was. And then I was shocked, because the picture looked nothing like her. Not saying she had anything to do with that, but I am surprised that someone SO outspoken about Hollywood’s image crap wouldn’t at least have some say in how much her image is tampered with.

  19. Persistent Cat says:

    She’s right. Tons of movies are an unattractive guy and a gorgeous woman. I’ll add Zack and Miri Make a Porno and Super Bad. The women are always thin and gorgeous and the guys are usually unemployed and fat (or at least, chubby).

    Yes, I know women aren’t as superficial as men, we like humour, etc. But still, do you really expect anyone to believe Katherine Heigl would pick up Seth Rogen? Although in the movie, he too was shocked by his score.

  20. Zoe says:

    I agree with her, it’s ridiculous that the focus is always weight. Although I think it was Seth Rogan who recently dropped a TON of weight and in the interview I saw, that’s all they wanted to talk about, so….

    In MBFGW, I thought they matched perfectly, because he was a bit better looking, but he was kind of BORING and she had all the charm… love that movie.

  21. Gigohead says:

    She looks terrific.

    Too bad the movie got bad reviews. Would have been nice that she got a good movie after all these years.

    I’m still of fan of hers. Good for her on her new daughter.

  22. Miss Wanderlust says:

    Love her, she speaks the truth…very refreshing to read something else than a hollywoodactress who talks about losing her babyweight in three weeks through breastfeeding and yoga only(Gwyneth Paltrow), or claiming that they lost the weight because there metabolism changed overnight(Brittany Murphy)They are pulling the wool over our eyes !!!

    There is a double standard in Hollywood when it comes to romantic couples, that’s for sure.
    As long as the audience keeps going to see these movies with older & (literally)bigger actors while the actresses keep getting younger & thinner nothing is going to change, people !!!
    The movie, music & fashion industry always had an unhealthy & unrealistic standards and a lot of women/men keep running after them, that is impossible…..but it’s something that we don’t tell ourselves when we look at it from a distance.
    We don’t know what these people have to do so they can stay on top of there(so called)game ? And who says that everbody wants to look at the same kind of bodytype ? I don’t !!!
    Why is Marilyn Monroe still a sexsymbol after all these years….would she be called fat by the same industry today ? Probably !

    A lot off people think that by not eating you will lose the weight fast but it f*cks up your whole system.
    I am somebody who struggled with my weight and the worst thing i did was diet(ing)….i lost the weight for health issues, eating regularly & through exercise, there is no wonder diet !!!

    Also congratulations with her adoption, her daughter is very lucky that she has a mom who is beautiful, funny, talented & grounded !!! Most of the Hollywoodmoms(not all of them)think about there so called image but sometimes they forget that the most important job is to be a good & healthy rolemodel for there own children….TEAM NIA ALL THE WAY !!!

  23. rottenkitty says:

    Oh, good grief. The reason why no one blinks when a man is overweight or unattractive is because the societal standard for men and women are different. In our culture, women must be attractive and men must have money.

    This is the unspoken subtext. We accept an unattractive men with hot woman because in the back of our minds we know that Paul Giamatti is a movie star and has loads of money. (I don’t know if he does or not, I’m just saying.)

    And the writer doesn’t cast the movie, the director and producer do. That they seem to go for the dumpy-guy/hot-chick formula is because that’s their particular desire.

  24. dubdub2000 says:

    @ rottenkitty: very true, but really in real life you see it all the time too, ugly dudes with money get beautiful chicks, always. And if they get money while they already have a “regular” wife they will “upgrade” to the beautiful chick once they get rich 9 times out of 10.
    Hence all those hollywood stars, music stars or sports champs that once they make it big, the first thing they do is dump their wifes and find a model to shack up with.

  25. I Choose Me says:

    I’m reminded of She’s All That and it’s parody Not Another Teen Movie, where it was pointed out that the so-called homely girl, is never really homely or plain, despite the ponytail and glasses that make it appear so. Why? Hollywood’s double standard just like she (Nia)said. Thankfully Hollywood movies esp. romantic movies, rarely reflect real life. As evidenced by some of the great comments on here, lots of people are able to look past looks.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, perfection is boring. Oh and rock on Nia.

  26. Ned says:

    She is right.

    and I heard some very sound complaints from several ladies about how dare they have someone who looks like Zach Braff in romantic comedies.
    They compared him with placing someone really unattractive as the leading lady.

    My retort was Sarah Jessica Parker and Jennifer Garner.
    But I do see their point, though.

  27. Eden says:

    I love, love, love her!!!! I will always buy a ticket for her movies!!!

  28. Philo says:

    Jesus, her face could stop a sundial.

  29. Shannon says:

    Huh…no one I talked to about My Big, Fat Greek Wedding (and I’ve talked about that movie to LOTS of people) ever mentioned Nia’s unattractiveness – either alone or relative to John Corbett. She was cute. He was cute. So what. Now, what kind of story can you tell me? Is it funny and true? ‘Cuz that’s all we moviegoers really care about (get it, Hollywood? Geez…)

  30. Philo says:

    WTF is wrong with her eyes??! They’re not even pointint in the same direction. Is this why Greece fell apart as a world power 2000 years ago?

  31. nora says:

    God knows how much I HATE this woman, she is soooooooooo full of herself,,,
    Philo, her eyes are like that since they were pulled unevenly by the surgeon who performed the face lift.

  32. Christina X says:

    I agree with what Nia Vardalos says about the movies where the ugly guys get hot girls, especially in newer movies that attract an audience from my generation. I’m so over all of these unfunny teenage sex comedies.

    Not only are these movies unrealistic and, frankly, ridiculous in the sense that the ugly guy gets the hot girl in these movies but also because their personalities are…unlikeable. I find it unfair how shallow, disrespectful, whiny slobs are portrayed as the “underdog” in films, but it’s very sparing when a gawky and insecure female finds love or sex in movies.

    Instead, the female’s character is forced to compromise by getting a “makeover”, while these teenaged boys/20 something men aren’t forced to compromise. Their roles don’t require makeovers…or even a winning personality, for that matter. Yet they still attract the “most wanted” sexpot at school.

    I’ve actually stopped watching these films because I’m offended by them. Exposing myself to these movies is mentally unhealthy. I also find teen sex comedies misogynistic because if a girl is intelligent or boasts dignity and class, she’s always portrayed by the frumpy laughingstock of the boys at school.

    As if beauty, class, and intelligence never occur in nature.

  33. Ursula says:

    Love her, she should be the one adopting kids not Madonna and Angelina who are narcissitic and unstable. I hope she gets to adopt more kids.

  34. Magsy says:

    Too bloody right and I love the purple dress.

  35. Christina X says:

    Philo, as someone who’s Greek, your implying that Greek people being ugly contributing the fall of the Greek empire sickens me.

    But you must be one of “those”, so nevermind.

  36. FF says:

    *gasp* like every Judd Apatow movie ever! Yes, even Pineapple Express (James Franco 4 Seth Rogan? Erm…)

    Dude, I’ve been getting sick of the guys over forty getting girls barely out of their teens cast as their WIVES for the longest while.

    It’s wish fulfillment of the highest order.

    At least make the guys break out an ab or something.

    And for the record she’s not saying hot women don’t date homely guys or vice-versa, she’s saying that for all the MOVIES where this scenario is accepted as gospel, there’s a ridiculous amoung of furour when one film dares to present the shoe on the other foot. At least let it swing both ways. THAT’S the hypocrisy she’s highlighting.

    No where has she pointed a finger at people in real life and laughed at the implausibility.

  37. LiSrD says:

    Christina X, stop sticking up for your country. it’s ridiculous, especially if you’re saying Greeks are attractive. i’ve met NO ONE, neither male nor female, who’s either Greek or Cypriot who LOOKS Greek or Cypriot, who’s attractive. Sorry agapi mou, alla einai skatofastes. but yeah, Philo’s comment was very childish and obnoxious haha