“It’s a really sweet franchise,” Ian Gomez exclusively gushed to Us Weekly in November 2019 about his ex-wife’s 2002 film and its 2016 sequel. “[Nia] has so many people that have come up to her and just said the most amazing things about, like, their families getting back together because of the film, or like, ‘My dad and I didn’t talk and then we bonded over this film.’ It’s a legacy. I mean, it’s amazing.”
My Big Fat Greek Wedding premiered in April 2002 and followed 30-year-old Toula Portakalos (played by Vardalos) as she worked in her family’s restaurant in Chicago. Toula — the middle child in her Greek-American brood — became an expert at dodging her meddlesome family’s countless matchmaking attempts. She vows to take charge of her life, enrolling in a community college class and working for her aunt’s travel agency. Toula also strikes up a romance with schoolteacher Ian Miller (John Corbett) despite her family’s concerns about him not being Greek.
“We’ve become such good friends over the years. [John is] a wonderful person. He’s the first cast member that I told that we were going to go back and do the sequel,” the My Life in Ruins star exclusively told Us in May 2016. “My favorite scene that we filmed together was when we were walking toward the car to do the makeout scene. We looked at each other and it was the exact same place that we filmed last time. We were on the same street and the same car parked in the same location. It was very nostalgic to go back after all of these years.”
After Toula’s parents (portrayed by Michael Constantine and Lainie Kazan) throw her and Ian an over-the-top wedding, the couple soon embraced a new journey: parenthood. The first film — which earned Vardalos an Oscar nod for Best Original Screenplay — inspired My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, which was released in March 2016. The sequel introduced Toula and Ian’s teenage daughter, Paris (Elena Kampouris), as she hopes to leave her loud extended family for college.
Nearly six years later, the McKenna Shoots for the Stars actress reunited with her My Big Fat Greek Wedding castmates for a third film.
“A lot of family crammed into two pics. And there are more in the film. 😉 edit: yes including Aunt Voula! I can see in the comments that you are wondering about certain characters,” Vardalos teased of My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3, which she directed, via Instagram in July 2022. “Yes, everyone was invited back. If you don’t see them in photos, you will see them in the film.”
The third franchise iteration, which was filmed across Greece, is set to serve as a tribute to the movie’s patriarch, Constantine, who died before Vardalos completed the script. A release date has yet to be announced.
Scroll below to check in with the My Big Fat Greek Wedding cast: