Nia Vardalos, of My Big Fat Greek Wedding fame, is apparently a beloved treasure in Greece. So great is her pull that she was granted permission to film her next romantic comedy My Life in Ruins at the 2,500-year-old Acropolis at Athens, a first-time event for the ancient site.
While acquiring this permission entailed plenty of schmoozing on Vardalos' part, her popularity in Greece certainly didn't hurt. According to the Reuters article, "One of the most important factors was that Nia is beloved in Greece. She is a daughter of Greece and represents a positive representation of what being Greek is," said Michelle Chydzik, a producer on the film.
There are, of course, restrictions to the filming, including:
- They get exactly one day to shoot at the ancient ruins.
- No one can eat or drink at the site.
- No hanging lights off columns.
- No faking any of the sites, even with a fake background or column. "If you are standing at the Temple of the Oracle, you have to say it is the Temple of the Oracle. You can't cheat it even in the location. You can't walk 50 feet away and say that that's the temple," Chydzik said.
- Because tourism is very important to the country, no site or road may be closed or restricted on account of the filming.
The government also requested some changes be made to the script, particularly for a part when two characters are drinking beer on the ruins' premises. This moment was rewritten because alcohol is not permitted.
She hasn't had a ton of success since My Big Fat Greek Wedding, but I think of Vardalos as the little indie filmmaker that could. Seriously, how cool is she?