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It's only natural: when filmmaker Alexander Payne was in the red chair, his and George's shared Greek heritage just had to come up.
Payne, whose latest film Nebraska was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, said to George, "Nice job on the show, it's nice to see a Greek guy doing well for himself."
He went on to explain his family's journey to America.
“My grandfather arrived in Omaha around 1912, 1913, still named Nikos Papadopoulos," said Payne. "And in 1909 there had been an anti-Greek riot, so by 1915 he saw fit to change his name. And not to 'Poulos' or 'Pappas,' which a lot of Greeks do to shorten it, but totally to Americanize it."
“Greeks, unlike many other ethnicities cling to that identity. Not as Greeks, but now as Greek-Americans or Greek-Canadians. But yeah, growing up in Omaha, I was certainly American, as American as — not as apple pie but as apple baklava. But still with a sense of subculture, and looking from inside the bubble of being Greek-American."
Alexander Payne's George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight interview airs Friday, November 22 on CBC at 7 pm.