Wednesday, 7 April 2010


What can I say, except that it was a surprise. Way back in December I came across a tweet from one of my favourite producers/ scriptwriters/ actresses, a one Nia Vardalos, saying that she had a few copies of the Connie & Carla soundtrack on hand (a movie co-starring Toni Collette) and that if any of us wanted an autographed copy, to send our addresses to her on some paper, and that she (being the amazing soul that she is) would cover all postage costs no matter where we are in the world.

The first time I watched “Connie & Carla” was in London, but I had watched “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” here in SA a few years prior to that, and it is still one of my favourite movies of all time. I can really appreciate Miss (or is it Ms – I don’t really know the difference) Vardalos’ brand of humour and I have a deep respect for her screenwriting and acting abilities, as well as the fact that all her characters are people we can relate to. I admire her achievements in an industry that is tough (and almost impossible to crack) and her tenacity and determination to get ahead.

But what I really really like about her, is the fact that she is so down to earth and has the type of soul that people are drawn to. When I see Nia Vardalos (of Greek descent… Jennifer Aniston Greek not Nana Mouskouri Greek) I want to jump on the 8 hour flight to Athens and roam the streets with her, imagining what life was like for women in ancient times… the lives they led, the men they’d loved and lost, the triumphs and tragedies of life marred by wars and conquests in a time so long ago that nothing remains of them… their stories are only known by the historical structures, carved into the ancient stones that stand today as a spectacle for the world to see; their memories and untold stories carried by the wind that sweep the streets through time. I’d like to sit in a café, languishing in a balmy breeze while we laugh hysterically over everything and nothing in particular (yeah I have such Nia Vardalos fantasies).

So as I scrolled through Twitter that fateful day in December, while I was wandering through the airport waiting to board my flight, I walked by a place selling postcards and decided on a whim to send a postcard to Miss Vardalos. I just wanted to send her something “pretty” to look at, imagining all the dreary mail she’d get from fans like me. I also wanted to say hi and that she should come and visit our country some day. I didn’t expect anything in return, so you can imagine my delight when my Dad rocked up yesterday, telling me that I have mail, and I saw this:

I was ecstatic, bouncing off the friggin walls like Tigger from Pooh’s tales I tell ya! It’s kinda like that time I was on that movie set with Juliette Binoche (who also happens to be one of my favourite actresses) and Jude Law. I didn’t expect to see her, and as an employee and representative of the British Council in London at the time, I was allowed to roam around on these movie sets to make sure everything was ok. And then I walked into Juliette – like LITERALLY walked into her and I was so excited, I didn’t sleep for a week after that. I couldn’t believe my eyes but there she stood, right in front of me. If I reached out just a bit, I could have poked and prodded to see if she was real. But I didn’t want to act like a deprived psychotic fan, so I refrained. I had to resist the urge to take secret photos because firstly, they were working and it’s a shit load of work to put a movie like that together and secondly, I didn’t want to disrespect her that way.

Something similar happened with Orlando Bloom. I was at the premiere of Kingdom of Heaven in London and I really didn’t expect him to come up to me, but there were others who got in the way. And me being me… suffering from the ill effects of “STS” or what I like to call “Stupid Tourettes Syndrome” whereby the patient involuntarily spits out copious amounts of stupid both physically and verbally… I impulsively took a photo of him forgetting that the flash was on, temporarily blinding the poor guy.

Apologising profusely for my stupidity and behavior, he just smiled and I’ll never forget how smooth (and tanned) he looked up close (they were still shooting Pirates 2 & 3 at that stage). He looked like Caramel Ice Cream (the stuff Grecian Adonis dreams are made of). Still feeling terrible about it all, I apologized again and expressed my admiration for his work and a few weeks later, I received an autographed note. He wrote saying that he appreciated my kind words and needless to say, I was ELATED. Ironically, I had never liked him before that evening… but I’ve swooned every time since… just because he was so nice.

So yeah, in the grander scheme of things it may seem like nothing, but Thank You Nia Vardalos for taking the time to write my name and address on an envelope, and for sending me a little something that once belonged to you, and for spending $4.60 of your money to make sure that it gets to me. I still have hopes and dreams that one day we’ll sit together in a café in balmy Athens dining on Skordalia, Spanakopita (I'll even eat humus for you) and having Koulourakia for dessert while we sip on Greek Coffee, have lovely conversations and giggle merrily as the world passes by. I’ve always been somewhat delusional that way. That kinda thing makes me very happy. See, I’m easy to please ;D

All Nia images courtesy Google. The rest courtesty & copyright Azra Cam.


  1. oh wow! i love it when nice things like this happens! :) yay for you!

  2. This is so cool!!!!
    I think it's also awesome that you blocked out her address - don't want the crazies bugging her! :)

    Man, I would've poked Orlando just to have seen if he was a hologram or not :)

  3. Excuse me ladies, but I'll have to respond at another time. Something happened in the last 20 minutes and I'm dying, I'm sure of it... thats the only explaination I have :D

  4. two words:
    poopi kakas!

    lol. sorry, i couldnt resist.
    (ahem. in case u never watched 'my life in ruins'... hold any horrified thoughts you have..)

  5. pserean - I love "My Life in Ruins". Have it on DVD. Isn't he just sublime?
    I still want to watch "I hate Valentines Day" though... :)

  6. I had the most giant smile on my face when my Mom entered my room with a package like yours. One of the best days of my life!!! I love Nia! And funny thing is that Juliette Binoche is also another of fav actresses ^^.


  7. Catherinne - It was a lovely surprise indeed. That kind of warmth from a celeb is rare :)

    PS. Whenever I watch Juliette in Chocolat, I want to become a Chocolatier and move to a village in France ;)