Why It Took 14 Years to Make 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2'

Star and writer Nia Vardalos said she's "grateful" she waited so long.

ByABC News
March 22, 2016, 10:31 AM

— -- It's been 14 years since we last saw the fictional tight-knit Portokalos family from Chicago on the big screen -- you know, the family in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" with the father who loves his Windex, the overbearing mother, the aunt who wants to make sure you look good for your date and the brother who always likes to fight his cousins.

The 2002 romantic comedy was such a blockbuster hit that so many fans expected a follow-up immediately. But that didn't happen.

John Corbett told ABC News that his onscreen wife and the film's writer Nia Vardalos took her time to pen a sequel.

"She was adverse to writing a sequel," he admitted.

"The normal thing to do when [a] movie is a big success is write a sequel. That's just what you do. [Then] a year passed, two years, three years -- the window started to close kind of rapidly. Five years! It's closed," Corbett, who plays Vardalos' American husband in the film series, recalled.

"But what most people don't know is Nia was trying to be a mom and that was what was most important to her, not writing a sequel to the most successful romantic comedy ever made," the actor continued. "She wanted to be a mom and it wasn't happening. She was going through a lot of time and energy and trouble and not succeeding. Then she became a mom and her whole outlook now could go somewhere else."

Vardalos, 53, has been open about her struggle to have children with her husband, Ian Gomez. The two later adopted 11-year-old daughter, Ilaria Gomez, in 2008.

The Oscar-nominated actress told ABC News she's happy she took her time to share what happened to her character, Toula, after she got married and had a daughter.

"I feel so grateful that I waited because I think everything I went through informed my writing," Vardalos explained.

Corbett agreed. "Had she rushed the sequel I'm sure it would've tanked and not been what this one is," he said, "which is a well thought-out, crafted tale."

The sequel centers on Toula's life as she juggles taking care of her aging parents, raising her college-bound daughter and reigniting the spark in her marriage.

"I think it allowed me to go deeper with the sequel and not be afraid of real emotion. Sometimes when I'm writing because my approach is to go for comedy, I want everything to be funny, funny, funny," Vardalos added. "In this one, I dared to say you know what? Relationships are hard and raising children is hard. And I did it with comedy but really went in there."