The 59-year-old plays Toula Portokalos in the comedy film series, starting with the record-breaking 2002 original.
Nia Vardalos is back as Toula Portokalos!
The 59-year-old confirmed in an Instagram post that filming for My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 has begun in Athens, Greece. "And guess who the director is," Vardalos said in the clip. "It's me!" The actress previously directed the 2009 movie I Hate Valentine's Day with her My Big Fat Greek Wedding costar John Corbett.
The first film in the comedy series broke records as it made more than $350 million worldwide on only a $5 million budget. The 2002 original followed the story of Toula, a single woman working at her family’s restaurant. She is constantly pressured by her nosy but adorable family who constantly pushes her to find a Greek man to marry and start a family with. They aren't pleased that she falls in love with an American instead but soon grow to love him as well. In the film’s 2016 sequel, Toula and Ian have a 17-year-old daughter. Sources told Deadline that Greece will be the setting for Toula and Ian’s (John Corbett) daughter Paris’ wedding in the third installment.
The original “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” was released in 2002 to wide acclaim. Vardalos, who wrote the screenplay as well as starring, bagged an Oscar nomination for the film for original screenplay. https://t.co/52p3vr3FQL pic.twitter.com/1YTH5w1Vt7— Variety (@Variety) June 22, 2022
A couple of years ago, in January 2020, Vardalos told PEOPLE that it was a "strong maybe" that there'd be a third My Big Fat Greek Wedding movie, but "I don't want to put the cart before the horse." She added, "It is an offer the producers gave me during the filming of 2, and so it's just there, which is really, really nice to know that when I'm ready we'll have something to tell you."
Both films also starred Lainie Kazan, Michael Constantine, Andrea Martin and Joey Fatone. The third film in the series will be dedicated to Michael Constantine who played the Windex-loving and overprotective father Gus Portokalo, who died in August of 2021 when he was 94 years old.
Per PEOPLE, at the time, Vardalos paid tribute to him at the time, tweeting, "Michael Constantine, the dad to our cast-family, a gift to the written word, and always a friend. Acting with him came with a rush of love and fun. I will treasure this man who brought Gus to life. He gave us so much laughter and deserves a rest now. We love you Michael."
A few months later the actress reunited with some of her cast members to "honor the memory" of Constantine, explaining "friends in real life are why our films are so much fun to make."
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