Nia Vardalos on strong roles for women: ‘My whole gender is looking for work’


Nia Vardalos has been making the press rounds to promote My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 in theaters now. We recently discussed that the reason the sequel took so long to write was because of Nia’s difficulty starting a family. While I love Nia, I have to report that the film has a miserable 21% on Rotten Tomatoes. In a recent interview for Yahoo Global News, Katie Couric spoke with Nia about parenthood, the movie and her role in Hollywood. You can watch the full video here (it’s autoplay, FYI) but here are some highlights:

On how her daughter first day of kindergarten inspired the sequel: “All the other moms were saying goodbye in a very loving and…they were normal people… And I heard a sound that sounded like a banshee wailing and realized, ‘oh it’s me!’ I’m crying so loud I was trying to get control of myself and that’s when I realized I couldn’t let go and I have morphed into my own suffocating Greek parents.”

On writing a role for John Stamos: “His mom had asked me before she passed away if I ever did a sequel, if I would write him a part. Isn’t that funny? So sweet, as a mother would do. She was the loveliest person and her memory lives on in Jon, he had such a close connection with her.”

On strong roles for women in Hollywood: “There’s are so many of us who said ‘Look I can’t wait for the phone to ring with the job offer. I’m going to call myself and just keep creating my own roles.’ But I can’t just do it for me, my whole gender’s out there looking for work, so I wrote very strong roles for the women, but also for the men. Because I keep saying ‘we can’t just leave one half of society out.’ We don’t like it when men do it to us in their movies, so you know the men and women are represented in this – like a family.”

[From Yahoo Global News]

I remember how fondly John Stamos spoke of his mother to Howard Stern. The fact that she negotiated a role for him fits perfectly with my image of her. When discussing women writers not waiting for the phone to ring, Nia namechecks Amy Schumer and Mindy Kaling for having created quality work for themselves and fellow actresses. I want to write “Because I keep saying ‘we can’t just leave one half of society out.’” across the sky.

To aid your John Corbett fantasies, Nia told People about how she asked him to do the sequel, “I called John and said, ‘Hey, do you feel like kissing me again?’ And he said the ultimate dreamy response – ‘always baby.'”

I love Nia and think she is beautiful but the hairstyle she has been sporting lately is not working for me. As you requested, more John *muah*


Photo Credit: Fame/Flynet Photos and Getty Images

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20 Responses to “Nia Vardalos on strong roles for women: ‘My whole gender is looking for work’”

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  1. failfailfail says:

    I hate rotten tomatoes, they never get it right. At least not for me.
    I’m gonna see this anyway just because I loved the first one so so much.

    • cr says:

      Rotten Tomatoes is an aggregator site. So, read the critic reviews, look at the audience reviews (65% for this sequel). Know your own likes and dislikes.
      I don’t get the hate/dislike for RT, it’s a guide, not a straightjacket. Don’t just look at the numbers.

    • Liberty says:

      me too.

      Remember, like any poll or survey, Rotten Tomatoes is truly only applicable to the moment, and momentary mood and subjective lane, of those who contributed thoughts. Those people form a very small particular taste group and vision group in the general world,, which is fine, but it may not match who you are, what you feel, what is your on/off switch. Critics have disliked many a film that rose to be remembered and loved forever.

      I always thought the late Roger Ebert was one of the few who really thought about what he was watching, what it was intended to be, and its audience and goals, when reviewing films. His online reviews were more lucid and, to me, valuable for that.

      • Kitten says:

        If you care about reviews, I think the best thing to do is find a critic who’s movie taste most closely matches yours and use them as a guide.

        Ty Burr is that critic for me. If he says it’s good, then I’m there and he has yet to steer me wrong.

  2. Barrett says:

    I love her, as for her hair she could wear a beehive and I’d still madly love her!

  3. paolanqar says:

    ‘Hey, do you feel like kissing me again?’ And he said the ultimate dreamy response – ‘always baby’.

    I LOVE John Corbett. He is perfect for this role. And perfect as Carrie’s bf in Sex and the city.
    I resent her a little for choosing big over him. I loved them together.

    I can’t wait to see this film. The first one is a masterpiece and i don’t care if it’s going to be crap. I love the fact the old cast is going to be in the second movie too. They were all amazing.

    • lucy2 says:

      I never understood her choosing Big over him. His character was vastly more appealing to me.

    • MsGoblin says:

      “Always, baby” SWOOOOOOON!

    • Dani says:

      I am a huge Big apologist (ugh the shame) but even I don’t understand why she didn’t stick with Aiden. Especially in the freaking movie when she had the chance!!!! LIKE GIRL WHAT ARE YOU DOING. That said, I’m so excited to see this movie, I’m going with my mom.

      • Dee Kay says:

        Aiden was the objectively better man in many ways, but Carrie just didn’t love him as much as she loved Big. I hated Big for most of SATC but reconciled myself to the fact that Carrie just loved him the most, that’s all. It explains everything.

    • Miss M says:

      He was great in Sex and the city!

  4. Tig says:

    I am so going to see this movie! I loved the first one, and so happy that the original cast was up for the sequel. Way to go Nia!

  5. lucy2 says:

    I’m not shocked the reviews are weak, but I imagine many fans of the original, or anyone looking for a nice, easy movie, will go. I hope it does well for Nia, and I hope she continues to write and create.

  6. Miss M says:

    Love her interviews. I do not care her movie is not doing well, i will watch!

  7. LizLemonGotMarried says:

    I cannot separate them in my mind. I’m sure they both have real lives and are married (or not) to lovely people, but I absolutely buy their chemistry SO MUCH that I can’t imagine it, and I don’t want to. I refuse. And the scene where her Daddy buys them the house next door…I just want to cry every time.
    I have overbearing, but very loving, parents, and I think that’s why I loved the first movie so much. They have totally embraced my husband and treat him like the son they never had.

    • paolanqar says:

      That scene makes me cry every time. It’s seriously moving seeing Costa crying like that when his daughter gets married to the ‘stranger from america’

  8. Lucy says:

    Superficial note, but I can’t believe Nia is in her fifties!! I thought she was around thirty something (I had never heard of her until now, I was little when the first movie came out).

  9. elle says:

    Rewatched MBFGW over the holidays, and it didn’t hold up for me, so I doubt I’ll see this one. John Corbett gives me the heebie-jeebies because he looks so much like a much-despised former boss (and because I did NOT like the Aidan character on S&TC). They do have fantastic chemistry in the photos above, though.

    I heard Nia interviewed by Larry Flick on the radio, and she sounded so lovely, warm and witty. He highly recommended mentioned another movie of hers (Connie & Carla, I think?). Anyhow, it got me thinking about her career, and I remember somebody posting quite a while ago (over a year) about how Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson screwed her over. Does anybody remember that tale and what happened?

  10. savu says:

    Don’t care! Will still go see it. My whole Italian Chicago family loves it. Dad won’t use windex without quoting it.

  11. INeedANap says:

    I love the first movie and my mom hates it! She’s basically Toula’s dad and I’m Toula. The film feels very personal to me so I’m super psyched for this sequel.