CW’s ‘Jane the Virgin’ Adds ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ Star Nia Vardalos

Actress-writer-producer guest stars on network’s freshman drama as a catalyst for Jane and Rafael’s relationship

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The CW’s breakout telenovela is going Greek.

“My Big Fat Greek Wedding” star Nia Vardalos has joined the cast of “Jane the Virgin,” a spokesperson for the network told TheWrap on Monday.

The writer-actress-producer is set to guest star as Barbara, a woman who plays a vital role in Jane (Gina Rodriguez) and Rafael’s (Justin Baldoni) blossoming relationship.

Vardalos’ big break came in 2002 with her independent family drama “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” which was made for $5 million and went on to gross over $240 million in the U.S. alone. From there she had numerous writing, acting and producing opportunities, even serving as an executive producer on CBS’s short-lived spinoff series “My Big Fat Greek Life.” She had a three-episode run on NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and wrote, directed and starred in the film “I Hate Valentine’s Day.”

Vardalos is currently working on “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2,” still in the scripting stage.

Agency for the Performing Arts, Oscars Abrams Zimel & Associates, Untitled Entertainment and Paradigm represent her.

“Jane the Virgin” is a comedy-drama series adapted from a Venezuelan telenovela and developed by Jennie Snyder Urman. The show, filled with often-surreal plot twists, centers around the artificial insemination of Jane — who is, incidentally, a virgin — and the eventual revelation that her biological father is soap a star. Co-stars include Andrea Navedo, Jaime Camil, Yael Grobgias, Ivonne Coll and Brett Dier.

As TheWrap previously reported, “Jane the Virgin” has enjoyed quite a ratings boost since star Rodriguez won a Golden Globe on Jan. 11. The CW has already renewed the series for a Season 2 and in January EGOT winner Rita Moreno joined the cast as Jane’s paternal grandmother.

Variety first reported the “Jane the Virgin” casting.

“Jane the Virgin” airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on The CW.