Clearly, Nia Vardalos is doing parenting right.
In a conversation with Melissa Silverstein on the "Women and Hollywood" podcast, the star of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" and its new sequel told a story about the time her daughter Ilaria was so unimpressed with a movie's gender balance that she walked out of the theater.
The movie was 2014's "The Boxtrolls," an animated film about a human boy raised by cave-dwelling creatures. As the actress told it, Ilaria asked if they could leave twenty minutes in, and so the pair got up.
"I just thought she wanted to have a play date with a friend, or something. I wasn't sure what it was," Vardalos explained. "As we were walking to the lobby the manager says, 'Is something wrong?' And she says, 'I don't like the movie. There aren't enough girls in it.'"
"It was unprompted. I was so surprised," the actress said, adding that "the best part" was that her daughter got a reward for speaking her opinion. Responding to the girl's complaint, the theater manager asked if she wanted her money back. Ilaria, of course, said yes.
"And then we spent it on candy. Which is the life lesson: When you speak up, you get candy," the actress laughed.
Although Vardalos admitted she was "tired" of needing to talk about the topic of women in film, she had glowing words of praise for actress Geena Davis' nonprofit SeeJane, which makes suggestions in movies' pre-production stages to add more women characters. Silverstein, too, shared her frustration seeing a lack of women in movie screeners she watches as part of her job.
But even a young girl can pick up on the trouble with representation in film.
Listen to the full episode below:
"My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2" is now in theaters.