Check out this new interview with the super talented Elena Kampouris!
We caught up with Elena to chat about the film and what it was like working alongside Alex Wolff, who plays her love interest! Check it:
JustJaredJr.com: Tell us about your audition and how the role came about for you!
Elena Kampouris: It was by far the strangest audition process ever for me, starting with the fact that I was reluctant to even audition for it! That may sound crazy but I grew up in a Greek household adoring this film, and knowing that I have fair skin and light eyes, I’m not a very convincing looking Greek. With that, I knew my chances for landing the role were slim because the audition description even said they were looking for Hispanic, Israeli, Mediterranean looking girls and I was aware that they were auditioning hundreds!
Click inside to read the rest of our interview with Elena Kampouris…
JustJaredJr.com Interview – Elena Kampouris
The stakes were high for this because if I didn’t get the part, which was likely, I would end up being disowned by my Greek family for sure! But alas, I threw together a tape, sent it out and ended up getting to the callback chemistry read stage with none other than Alex Wolff. This was kind of mind-blowing for both of us because the sides we were auditioning with were fake ones with made up names and scenarios that made zero sense and were extremely misleading, we actually had no idea what parts we were reading for!
However at this point in the process we were actually flown into Toronto together for the day, to read for THE Nia Vardalos in person and it was only at that point did we get the real script and find out what parts we WERE up for. They were keeping this material very confidential! So it was at this read where Nia gave Alex and me the parts in the room, they got us on tape receiving the news which means they also got on tape the part where I start bawling my eyes out upon getting the news. It was a dream come true, a moment I’ll never forget, the cherry on top was that right after the read we were sent straight to the production office for our characters’ fitting, so it was super surreal, let’s just say that we had the best plane ride home ever after that.
JJJ: So you were you familiar with the original film before getting cast?
EK: To say I was familiar with the first movie would be an understatement. I think they play this movie in the maternity wards in Greek hospitals it is so beloved in our culture! Having seen this movie since it came out when I was around four or five and since then hundreds of times, I have always related to and seen insane similarities between the Portokalos family and my Kampouris clan, so this movie has always had an uber special place in my heart!
JJJ: What can you tell us about your character Paris, as well as her relationship with her mom/family?
EK: Paris is the only child of Toula and Ian, she’s kind of experiencing the feelings Toula felt in the first movie. Feeling a little overwhelmed by the pressure her traditional family’s put on her. The Portaklos’ are quite set in their ways but they only mean well and only want a better life for Paris than what they themselves had. Because she knows this, she feels conflicted to do what they want her to versus what her heart’s telling her she wants with her life. She doesn’t want to let those she loves down but also doesn’t want to let herself down. She’s juggling finding her identity, love, and balance in high school which can be hard for any teen and when you throw in a crazy, loud Greek family in there it’s a lot to handle. I love that we also get a close look into the mother/daughter relationship between her and Toula. Overall, Paris is learning to embrace her Greek roots, family and also herself.
JJJ: Alex Wolff plays your love interest. What can you tease about that?
EK: I can confirm he is playing my love interest and I can confirm that we had such a blast shooting together! There is a huge reveal with his character as well that really impacts Paris.
JJJ: What’s one thing we might be surprised to know about him?
EK: He is not only super talented actor but also a great musician, his comedy chops are pretty impressive too. And to say we had good chemistry on set would be an understatement!
JJJ: Were any parts of the character of Paris that you personally related to?
EK: I related to everything about her, first off she’s half Greek, I’m half Greek, she’s 17, when we shot, I was 17. Paris has a loud, quirky, lovable Greek family, so do I!
JJJ: What’s the one memory you’ll remember most from filming?
EK: Meeting the iconic cast at our table read, having that moment where I realized that I am now a part of the Portokalos family!
JJJ: Who were you closest with onset? Any fun memories you can share?
EK: I was closest with Alex. We’re both the only newbies to this film so we could vent our nerves to each other and we have been on this journey together from the very beginning ever since we first auditioned and were always rooting for each other. We both have bulldogs too, so that says it all! A fun memory would be us chilling in each otherâ€™s trailers jamming to music and him beat boxing to the rap I wrote for the movie called “Greek on Fleek” which Nia loved so much we shot a mock music video for the DVD outtakes in Zorba’s diner, unforgettable!
JJJ: What do you like to do for fun when you’re off work?
EK: Write, I study Shakespeare in depth with my awesome Korean, Cambridge professor tutor, I write music, spend time with my pudgy bulldog Petunia, work on my photography and I also fence.
Catch Elena in My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 in theaters on March 25!