The 2002 film became a cult classic and put the 53-year-old on the map, but despite its success it has taken her 14 years to write a follow up.

The sequel sees Nia's character Toula and husband Ian (John Corbett) raising 17-year-old daughter Paris, but in a new interview with Britain's You magazine, Nia explained how she had to focus on her own personal quest to become a mother before she could portray it on screen.

"I was longing for a child, (I went through a) very private struggle to become a mother," she said. "It would have been impossible for me to write a story about motherhood without having experienced it."

Along with husband Ian Gomez, the couple went through 13 failed rounds of IVF before adopting daughter Ilaria aged three in 2008, and she admits she has become a stereotypical Greek mother like those in her movie.

"I am dreading every aspect of anything that could take her away from me," she added. "On the first day of kindergarten I was crying like a lunatic, I realised I had morphed into my own overbearing Greek parents."

While Nia's homelife is blissful, her alter ego Toula's is becoming quite stale, with the couple barely making an effort to keep the spark alive in their marriage.

"Audiences don't want to see us divorced," she said, before adding she spends the first part of the movie wearing baggy clothes and no make-up, "like all mothers look when we drop our kids at school and haven't had time for a shower."

But despite the marital woes, fans can expect just as much hilarity from the sequel as they got in the original, as family remains at the heart of the story.

"All of us, not just Greeks, love our families," she explained. "As crazy as they are, as nuts as our mums drive us, or as overbearing as our fathers can be, we know it is because they love us."

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 hits theatres in the UK from 25 March.