Unlike most interviews I do, this one took place several weeks after the film in question opened theatrically. The studio decided to capitalize on the momentum generated by the word-of-mouth on this sweet romantic comedy by sending its stars on a belated press tour. Vardalos, who also wrote the script from her one-woman show of the same name, was enjoying the sleeper status of her pet project to the hilt. Who wouldn’t?
Vardalos and Corbett enjoyed the same camaraderie in person that they do on screen, as Toula, the daughter of a traditional Greek father, and Ian, the non-Greek suitor who has stolen her heart. Hi-jinks ensue as the waspy Ian meets Toula’s hyper-extended family, and chooses to convert to Greek Orthodoxy in order to win her family’s approval. Just like Vardalos’ real-life husband, Ian Gomez, had done. During our conversation, we talked about the autobiographical elements of the film, including her father’s obsession with a particular brand of window cleaner, the romance of conversion, and what it was like to have her real family appear onscreen with her reel family, and the serendipity of how Corbett came to the project. We also mentioned the nice touch that Michael Constantine, who plays Toula’s father, finally got to play a Greek character after a professional life of playing so many other ethnic groups.
Believe me when I say that a good time was had by all.