Culture & Entertainment

How Nia Vardalos’s life changed forever

By: Jill Buchner
Canadian Living
Culture & Entertainment

How Nia Vardalos’s life changed forever

By: Jill Buchner

Nia Vardalos at Canadian Living Yesterday we had the pleasure of meeting Nia Vardalos when she came in to the Canadian Living Test Kitchen. The My Big Fat Greek Wedding star was just as lovely as she is in her movies, but we wanted to know what life is like behind the scenes. The short answer: It revolves around her daughter. Nia is a writer, director, actress and all-around incredible woman, but when she adopted her daughter, Ilaria, in 2008, she became a mom. And it's a role she absolutely loves. We asked her about her life, how it’s changed and how in the world she manages it all. How Life Has Changed Since Her Daughter All moms know that life changes infinitely with a child, but Nia says her values changed too. “I used to just be so lazy and selfish. I never realized how self-centred I was,” says Nia. She’s at least partly joking, because she has us all howling with laughter as she describes a cartoon she once saw: It had a person on one side with thought bubbles all around saying "lawn, school, kids, taxes," and an actor on the other side, surrounded by thought bubbles saying "me, me, me, me." "It so applies!" exclaims Nia. “But now I don’t even have time to think about myself every day. And for me, that just means you’re doing your best as a parent.” Nia’s daughter has kept her on her toes right from the beginning. As she shared in her book, Instant Mom, Nia had just 14 hours notice that she was becoming a mom when she adopted her daughter, Ilaria, through the foster care system. “I used to think that because I’m an improviser I was always spontaneous, but I realized I’d gotten so set in my ways—every day was the same thing.” Now, says Nia, there’s no planning. Being a mom means there’s something different every day, and she just has to be ready and organized. To keep on top of her busy schedule at home and work, she keeps an old-fashioned day planner in her purse. “I get a sense of satisfaction from crossing things off at the end of the day.” And when she’s done with the planner, it becomes kind of like a journal reminding her what she did and when. Her Typical Day These days, Nia is spending a lot of her time writing, but since her daughter arrived, mornings are a bit of a scramble. “Like most people, time is not in abundance in the morning, so I try to make good use of it,” says Nia. Her typical morning? “I get my daughter to school, get to a workout class, get home, shower, Spray & Go, and start writing.” Nia is a  spokesperson for Vaseline Spray & Go and says she loves the spray moisturizer because it’s quick, easy, and she doesn’t have time to wait for a regular moisturizer to absorb when she’s getting ready. To speed up her morning routine, she also makes smoothies to take on the go. What She's Doing Next It was just announced this week that Nia will be spending her summer singing and dancing on a Toronto stage in the production Company. “I’m going to join the cast of Company, because Adam Brazier called me, and when he laid it all out for me, I just could not say no,” she says. “Summer in Toronto with my daughter? Get to sing again? Get to work with Louise Petri and Brent Carver, and Gary Griffin, the director? I went, ‘yes!’” says Nia, acting out her dramatic reaction with her jaw dropping. “I’m really excited.” And so are we! Read more from our interview with Nia Vardalos.
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How Nia Vardalos’s life changed forever

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