Soaps.com recently had the opportunity to touch base with Julia Pace Mitchell, the actress who plays newlywed (and pregnant!) Sofia Dupres Winters on "The Young and the Restless." Read on for Julia's take on her character's choices and relationships.
Soaps.com: Let's go back to when Sofia decided to help Cane (Daniel Goddard) at work - that's when things really started to change for her. Why did she elect to keep his secret?
Julia: When Sofia first came on the show she was helping everybody out; she was doing everything she could, like helping Devon [with his music career], to get in good graces with Malcolm's (Darius McCrary) family. I think it's a character trait they've put in there, which would explain why she'd put herself out there for Cane - but then it kind of backfired.
Soaps.com: After Malcolm found out Sofia had helped Cane and kept his secret, he gave her a lot of flack. Sofia is depicted as a strong, educated, outspoken woman, so why didn't she defend herself more?
Julia: I think a lot of times women can be powerful at work, but not necessarily at home. I always try to give her a softer side when she's around him, which could be translated into being weak, or it could be that she's manipulating him. I was really grateful that they let me show a lot more vulnerability in the character, so people could see the softer side of her.
Soaps.com: Tucker (Stephen Nichols) and Sofia also had a falling out over her helping Cane, but came back together. Is he a father figure?
Julia: Definitely. And they've been building that relationship which is really great; they gave Sofia a lovely backstory with Tucker and her father. When Sofia's father passed away, Tucker kind of stepped in and took care of her. I think they established that bond - he thought she was trying to scam him with Cane, but realized she would never do anything like that, and came back around. I really enjoy working with Stephen, he's just an old pro - I'm learning so much from him and Jeanne Cooper (Katherine Chancellor) - it's really nice that I get the opportunity to work with them.
Soaps.com: Neil (Kristoff St. John) was a little more understanding about why she helped Cane, and they ended up sleeping together. What was the first thought that went through your mind when you got that script?
Julia: At first it was, "What bra am I going to wear!" [laughs] I was nervous. I didn't think I was going to be as nervous as I was, not because of Kristoff, who was a gentleman, but I was nervous the whole day. But it was fun actually. I think it's great that the storyline is allowing Sofia to have these two men after her - it's fun. [Consider] who she is, and the situation that she's in (pregnant and who's the daddy?) - who would have thought my character would end up in that situation?
Soaps.com: Is Sofia better suited to Neil or Malcolm?
Julia: I think she's suited to both of them and that's the problem. She and Neil have this great professional relationship and friendship, and then she and Malcolm have the history, they get along, and have been together for a long time.
Soaps.com: Does she love them both?
Soaps.com: Sofia seems pretty jealous of Leslie...
Julia: Oh yeah! It's so much fun; we finally got to be on set together, and I play it like, [growls] "Who's that?!" [laughs], because we still haven't really spoken in character. She is pretty, and it's fun to play that. Maybe in the future we'll get some good storyline going.
Soaps.com: Sofia's also building a relationship with Lily (Christel Khalil Hensley). Is it a mother/daughter type bond?
Julia: That was really nice in the wedding storyline when they talked and helped each other out. I think it's mother/daughter, but also girlfriends too. Lily doesn't have a lot of girlfriends anymore, and Sofia doesn't have women friends, so they're putting us together.
Soaps.com: Lily told Sofia, during that talk, that she's a lot like Drucilla, her mother who passed away...
Julia: The handing down of the broach was a nice touch.
Soaps.com: It was. Are we meant to be drawing comparisons between Sofia and Drucilla?
Julia: I don't know. She was a lot feistier. I think she had a lot more bite; Sofia's comes out in the business world, but not necessarily in her relationships.
Soaps.com: I find Sofia softer around the edges too. Let's talk about Sofia's pregnancy. That was quite the scene when the test came out positive; Malcolm was excited and Sofia was looking pretty concerned. What was it like to play that?
Julia: It was great because Darius (Malcolm) and I were playing the scene and laughing...what guy would be like that? But, Malcolm was very excited and Sofia was very concerned. Honestly, I don't know where the writers are going, so that gives me the opportunity to just play it as an actor like, "It could be this one or that one, I don't know!"
Soaps.com: There were a lot of references made, when Sofia and Malcolm were on the outs, about them not sharing a bed...
Julia: Yeah, we did scenes like, "Oh I'm going to go sleep at the Club, or on the couch, or be out all night." So, we'll see, you never know.
Soaps.com: How will Sofia handle Neil?
Julia: There was a scene before the wedding where Neil asked if she really wanted to be a part of the family or not, and that kind of drew a line in the sand. There's so much interesting stuff coming up that I can't tell you. Sofia finds some allies in town with the pregnancy. Everyone in the family is really excited. There's interesting stuff coming up with Tucker too.
- Candace Young
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