Nia Vardalos Nia Vardalos

If the gropes foisted upon Andy by his sister-in-law Angela look a little too natural in tonight's episode of Cougar Town, they should — guest star Nia Vardalos is costar Ian Gomez's real-life wife. We chatted with the droll couple about how the My Big Fat Greek Wedding writer-star's gig came about.

TV Guide Magazine: How'd you become Andy's inappropriate sister-in-law?
Vardalos: It was a showbiz miracle in that I actually got offered a part I didn't have to write!

TV Guide Magazine: Ian, you didn't grease the wheels?
Gomez: No. It was [cocreator] Bill Lawrence's idea.
Vardalos: Actually, Ian, do you remember I was sent a gift basket of fatty-fatty things last year? I couldn't eat them, so I had Ian take it over to the writers' room, and he said, "This is a regift from my wife. She wants to be on the show."
Gomez: Writers can be swayed by fatty-fatty stuff.

TV Guide Magazine: So how is it working with your spouse?
Vardalos: We don't like to play a couple. We find that so embarrassing. This was the ideal part in that we could pretend to be attracted to each other. I don't like to work with Ian because of his drinking problem and the blackouts.
Gomez: And I don't like to work with Nia because of her breath.

TV Guide Magazine: Ah, true love. Where did you first meet?
Vardalos: At Second City. I am from Canada, and they brought me down to Chicago on a two-year work permit. After meeting me, Ian turned to a guy in my cast and said, "I'm going to marry that girl."
Gomez: True story.

Cougar Town airs Wednesdays at 9:30/8:30c on ABC.

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