The Young and the Restless has landed a very talented actress to play the contract role of Sofia Dupre. Julia Pace Mitchell earned her Master of Fine Arts from The National Theater Conservatory, and her BFA in Theater from Howard University in Washington, DC. Also, Julia’s parents were both actors who appeared in soaps; her mother, Judy Pace, was on “Peyton Place,” and her father, Don Mitchell, had a role on “Capitol.” Soaps.com had a chance to touch base with Julia, who is excited about her new gig – keep reading!

Soaps.com: We know your parents were actors, but what made you decide to pursue acting?

Julia: Yes, both my parents were actors – so it’s in my blood – but also, comedy and drama is a way to help people in their own life, so it’s kind of cathartic. Especially in soaps, people might have conversations and solve something, or have a laugh about something. It’s something that’s in our human nature; to want to work out problems.

Soaps.com: So you wanted to act from the time you were very young?

Julia: Always! I used to do shows on top of the kitchen table when I was little, like “C’mon everybody, let’s put on a show!” I was one of those kids. [laughs]

Soaps.com: Did your parents try to dissuade you from acting, or were they supportive of it?

Julia: I think my mother was very smart to encourage me to study it as much as I could. She was in the business and she didn’t necessarily study it, and she talked about rejection, Hollywood, and certain image types, so she always said go to school and study. So, I went to study classical theater actually, and [got a Masters in fine arts in theater], and I was in New York and I got to do what I love. Then I moved to L.A., and every actor’s dream is to be on a show like Y&R, so it happened pretty fast.

Soaps.com: What are a few of the highlights of projects you’ve done before Y&R, such as on T.V. and in film?

Julia: I got to work with Angela Bassett in a movie called “Notorious,” and she was somebody who I had always admired and looked up to. Some of my first days on set I was standing there having a conversation with Angela Bassett and I’m thinking, “Wow, I’m actually in this movie with her!” It was really exciting, she’s a really good actor.

Soaps.com: You have a film coming out with Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson?

Julia: Yes! Oh my gosh, he is so gorgeous. [laughs] The director hired me just for a small part in the movie “Faster,” and when I got on set he’s like, “Okay you’re going to be doing a quick scene with Dwayne,” and at the first take I just couldn’t stop staring at his shoulders! [laughs] It’s coming out in November.