"It was a dream come true to shoot in Greece, It was surreal on the set, to stand by the Acropolis, close my eyes before they say 'Action' and feel the wind blowing through the columns. It doesn't get any better."
Nia Vardalos - USA Today
Nia Vardalos is one of our Global Greeks!
Born Antonia Eugenia Vardalos, the Greek-Canadian-American writer and star who brought us so many laughs with the antics of her family-that-could-have-been-ours in My Big Fat Greek Wedding is about to do it again! At the Megaron Mousikis (The Athens Concert Hall) on Friday April 3, Nia wowed everybody present with her latest movie My Life in Ruins.
With special permission from the authorities and filmed against a magnificent and unparalleled backdrop - the Acropolis, Olympia , Delphi and other archaelogical sites of Greece, Nia's latest movie is 100% pure Greek! The best thing that could happen to Greek tourism after last year's Mama Mia with Meryl Streep and Piers Brosnan.
Nia stars as Georgia, a Greek-American who has moved back to Greece and who has lost her 'kefi' or zest for living. Discouraged by her lack of direction in life, she works as a travel guide, leading a group of tourists as she tries to show them the beauty of her native Greece.
Apart from Nia Vardalos, the film stars Academy award winner Richard Dreyfus and Alexis Georgoulis, a Greek actor that she picked out from a magazine and who is perfect in the role of the tour bus driver. (Nia describes him as the George Clooney of Greece in an interview to USA Today. When women on the production team saw his audition tape during a lunch break, "we didn't move, breathe or chew," Nia Vardalos said. "When the scene was finished, everyone jumped up and down and said, 'We've found him!' " )
Executive producers are Tom Hanks and wife, also Greek-American, Rita Wilson, who has a brief role in the film. This is the fourth time Wilson and her husband have collaborated with her fellow Greek. "We don't have a deal with Nia," she says to USA Today. "We just love her. Actually, the script came to us, and it just happened to take place in Greece. We wanted her to rewrite it, and it was just serendipitous."
Due to hit the cinemas in May this year, the film is a hilarious comedy which will leave you with a smile on your face and a let's go-on-holiday feeling.
What better advertisement for Greece?
Click here to watch Nia speak about the film on Good Morning America just before the American Premiere this week.
Read more about Nia on Wikipedia.
You may like to note that Nia is also on the Advisory Board of the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival , being held from 25 to 28 June 2009, along with several other prominent Greek-Americans involved in the movie industry. We look forward to featuring these Greek-Somethings on our pages in the very near future.