Hollywood star John Stamos opened up about his love for Greece and his roots in the Peloponnese in his new memoir, If You Would Have Told Me.
Speaking about the newly released book to Travel + Leisure magazine (T+L), the former teen idol, who became best known for his role on the long-running sitcom Full House in 1987, reminisced about travel in his homeland.
Stamos said travel has always been a big part of his life, especially to his family’s home country of Greece.
Stamos’ grandfather came to the U.S. from the Arcadian village of Kakouri and changed his last name from Stamatopolous to Stamos when he arrived. To give his wife Caitlin McHugh a look into his family history, the first trip that the actor took to Greece with her was to his grandfather’s village—partly to film an episode of the heritage-tracing show Who Do You Think You Are? that aired in 2017.
John Stamos on the feeling he gets when in Greece
However, it is not even that village that Stamos said he reminisces about the most when he thinks about Greece. Instead, it’s just the feeling he gets when he is there in general.
“It’s about my dad and the feeling that I get both with my history and my heritage,” he told T+L.
On a recent trip to Greece, he felt like every older man he encountered reminded him of his dad, Bill Stamos Sr., who passed away in 1998.
“My dad loved it,” he told T+L. “He found this little tavern, and I haven’t been back, but he was back in the kitchen cooking with the guys and [helping to pick] the fish. He just loved being around that kind of environment. Those kinds of places always remind me of him and I just see him in a lot of that over there. So it’s not one place.”
When he went to Greece this past August for his sixtieth birthday, the ER actor said it was a bit upsetting because he wasn’t feeling his father as much this time around.
“Every time I went to Greece before, it was always about my dad,” Stamos recounted in the T+L interview. “I could feel my dad, everywhere I went. I took him there before he died, one of the last trips he went on.”
“It was almost like I was trying to manufacture that [feeling] for some reason,” he admitted. “It first sort of made me sad because it’s been so many years now.”
However, a new travel companion, the couple’s five-year-old son Billy, has allowed him to see Greece through new eyes and strengthen the connection to his father and Greece with renewed curiosity, he said. He references the sentiment of the Disney film Coco in which talking about the deceased keeps the memory and the spirit of the person intact for a longer period of time.
“The whole thing there is that you die and you go to heaven,” he said. “And then if people on earth don’t talk about you and tell stories about you and put pictures up then you die for good up there.”
“So I figured I just need to start talking about it and bring his memories back and then my son started asking about him and it just came full circle,” Stamos revealed in speaking with T+L.