Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
New ‘Ant-Man’ Photos; Movie May Include More Marvel Cinematic Universe Characters New ‘Ant-Man’ Photos; Movie May Include More Marvel Cinematic Universe Characters Over 30 New 'Jurassic World' Photos, Plus 2 New Clips & Lots Of New TV Spots Over 30 New 'Jurassic World' Photos, Plus 2 New Clips & Lots Of New TV Spots Matt Damon Goes Interstellar Again In New Pics From Ridley Scott's 'The Martian' Matt Damon Goes Interstellar Again In New Pics From Ridley Scott's 'The Martian' First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Cannes Review: Gaspar Noé's Hardcore And Softhearted 'Love' Cannes Review: Gaspar Noé's Hardcore And Softhearted 'Love' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Cannes Review: Hou Hsiao-Hsien's 'The Assassin' Is An Epic Visual Poem Cannes Review: Hou Hsiao-Hsien's 'The Assassin' Is An Epic Visual Poem The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever Roger Deakins To Shoot Denis Villeneuve's 'Blade Runner' Sequel Roger Deakins To Shoot Denis Villeneuve's 'Blade Runner' Sequel More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Simon Pegg Worries That Adults Obsessed With Comics & Sci-Fi Have Become "Infantilized By Our Own Taste" Simon Pegg Worries That Adults Obsessed With Comics & Sci-Fi Have Become "Infantilized By Our Own Taste" George Miller Says 'Interstellar' Came Close To What His Version Of 'Contact' Would've Been Like George Miller Says 'Interstellar' Came Close To What His Version Of 'Contact' Would've Been Like New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season 10 Movies Booed At Cannes 10 Movies Booed At Cannes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Nia Vardalos Talks Keeping Things Light With 'Larry Crowne'

The Playlist By Leah Zak | The Playlist June 21, 2011 at 7:14AM

The Writer/Actress Also Hints At What She'll Be Doing Next The Tom Hanks vehicle (he starred, directed and co-wrote the film) “Larry Crowne” won’t scoot into theatres until July 1st, but we’re already rolling out a peek of our coverage, as we recently had the opportunity to sit in on a press conference with the film’s other writer, Nia Vardalos. Perhaps best known for her critically-acclaimed debut “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” – which her 'Crowne' cohort, Hanks, produced – Vardalos weighed in on the value of a hard day’s work, what she has coming up, as well as keeping ‘Crowne’ uplifting in a time when the story has become all too relevant.
0

The Writer/Actress Also Hints At What She'll Be Doing Next



The Tom Hanks vehicle (he starred, directed and co-wrote the film) “Larry Crowne” won’t scoot into theatres until July 1st, but we’re already rolling out a peek of our coverage, as we recently had the opportunity to sit in on a press conference with the film’s other writer, Nia Vardalos. Perhaps best known for her critically-acclaimed debut “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” – which her 'Crowne' cohort, Hanks, produced – Vardalos weighed in on the value of a hard day’s work, what she has coming up, as well as keeping ‘Crowne’ uplifting in a time when the story has become all too relevant.

“I think Tom and Barack Obama have caused this economic crisis so that the film would be successful,” Vardalos jokes. But the film didn’t start out as a reaction to the recession, it was simply an idea that Hanks brought to her about starting over. “It was Tom’s idea, he came to me I think it was in 2005 or 2006. [While she was at Playtone with "My Life in Ruins"] Tom said ‘I have an idea for a movie, do you want to write it?’ So we sat down in his office and he laid out the entire idea -- it was very clear in his head -- of what would happen if a man at 50 years old lost his job through no fault of his own because of downsizing and had to reinvent himself," she explained "He wanted to keep it as a very quiet story, a very streamlined idea, because I think Tom’s approach is very much... he is the everyman.”

Vardalos also drew from her own working-class background while writing, “I had a job at 16 and although I didn’t like that, I’m very, very grateful for that now because it taught me to be self-supporting and not dependent.” The experience also gave her a sense of humility that came in handy when working as a struggling actress, willing to take a job as perfunctory as selling T-shirts in The Second City Chicago lobby (where she was a performer) to make extra income. “And that I think is what Larry Crowne is going through,” she explained. “Larry will do anything to make a living and that is indicative I think globally and much more so in this country. People are just trying to get by.”


But ‘Crowne’ is no Steinbeck, and from the beginning, Hanks and Vardalos set out to tell a story that was positive and uplifting saying, “This is not a downer movie, this is an uplifting movie and yet it is not out of the realm of ordinary.” In fact, "Larry Crowne," Vardalos believes, is the kind of movie that audiences have been asking for. “We are all saying the same thing, reviewers say it, audiences say it, we all say we want adult movies,” she said, appealing to the room of critics before her, “and this is a movie that we strive to keep uplifting about a very real topic. It’s a romantic comedy about something that is relevant. So the fine line that I think Tom walked so well is to keep it light and quippy and Tom Hanks-like, and earnest and charming which is everything that this man actually is.”

And while her co-writer Hanks is the star of the picture, Vardalos decided to confine herself to the role of writer this time around, though she does have a brief cameo -- if you’re listening closely. “I play the GPS, the voice of the GPS, so yes, I will be getting some residuals from this movie,” she laughs. But when speaking on upcoming projects, the comedienne admits that she prefers time in front of the camera, “[writing] is very lonely, it’s very daunting. I have a voice in my head the whole time telling me I’m a fraud, no one will buy it, and you just click away, click away, push through,” but time on the “Larry Crowne” set made her terribly proud to have been a writer on the project. “On that set I got to go everyday and watch and learn. I treated it like film school and I became very proud to be a member of the WGA. I sometimes feel like, again, I’m grateful to be working always, but it’s not what I want to do. I write so that I can act.”

So what’s next for the multi-talented star? Well, more writing. “I’m writing a Fox Studios pilot for television that I will probably direct and play a small part in. I’ve written something for Walden Studios called 'Happy Mother’s Day' about four moms who run away from home, and I’m writing a script with Rob Riggle.” Yes, she said Rob Riggle, the comedian who's popped up in some memorable rolls over the past few years on your small screen, and more recently the big screen, including "Larry Crowne." In fact it was on the set of the film that the two met, “We made each other laugh so hard on the shoe aisle at Umart [the fictional store in the film] that we decided to just write together.” Hmm. An interesting pairing (no pun intended) that we’re certainly excited to see the results of.

You can see (or hear) both coming up July 1st in “Larry Crowne.” Watch for more more coverage as the release date draws near.

This article is related to: Films, Actresses, Larry Crowne


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates