Nia Vardalos was unable to attend her father’s funeral because of the coronavirus.
Vardalos did not get a chance to travel to Canada to see her dad, Gus Vardalos, after he was hospitalized. Nations continue to enforce greater travel restrictions in hopes of slowing the spread of COVID-19.
“They held up the phone to him and I got to thank him for an incredible life and tell him he was a gentleman and he was a great dad,” she told Variety on Friday. “My mom held his hand and said, ‘It’s OK for you to go.’”
Vardalos is thankful her father did not pass sooner.
“I always said my dad has impeccable timing,” she noted. “If he had gone 14 days ago when they weren’t acknowledging the global threat, we all would have gathered and it could have brought down the city.”
“We would have gone back to all our communities and could have spread something,” she continued. He waited until the church said they couldn’t have any more large gatherings. I think my father knew he was keeping people safe.”
In light of her father’s passing, Vardalos is asking others in the entertainment industry to make a #BigFatDonation to important causes. She tagged “The Mindy Project” alum Mindy Kaling.