NEW YORK, March 23 (UPI) -- Elena Kampouris, who in reality comes from a tight-knit Greek family, insists she had no trouble relating to the character she plays in My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2.
"Absolutely, I could relate, because I am half-Greek," Kampouris told UPI at a recent Manhattan press conference. "My father's side is Greek, my mom's side is French-American, so, growing up in a Greek family, I call it BTGFD -- Born To Greek Family Disorder. You know what it's like having family members who are very loud and only have one volume, talk with our hands, with our feet. If we had extra limbs, we'd be talking with those, too. Even I do it. I was so used to that lifestyle, so, in playing Paris, it felt very natural. I felt like I was at home."
Best known for her work in the films Men, Women & Children and Labor Day, the 18-year-old, New York-born, New Jersey-raised actress plays Paris, the daughter of Toula [Nia Vardalos] and Ian [John Corbett] in the sequel to the 2002 romantic-comedy classic My Big Fat Greek Wedding. The movie follows Paris as she tries to detach from her overly involved clan and make her own decisions such as whom to date and where to go to college.
"I think, with Paris, she's experiencing a lot of what Toula experienced in the first movie, like dealing with having overwhelming family members, who she doesn't want to disappoint because they care about her and they only want what's best for her," Kampouris explained. "But Paris is also trying to figure out what she wants to do and what her heart is telling her is right. So, she's kind of conflicted, but learning to embrace the Greek within her and her Greek roots."