The Young and the Restless: Soaps.com Chats With Julia Pace Mitchell!
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.
Soaps.com: Tell us about how you got the role on Y&R.
Julia: Consistently auditioning for over a month! It was a month-long process, and I actually quit my job during the process because I really wanted the job, and I kind of tricked myself into saying I had to get it by quitting my regular day job.
Soaps.com: Wow! So, a while back a casting call went out from Y&R for the contract role of 'Simone', a character who was described as an African-American female in her mid-thirties with a great figure, who was self-confident and outspoken. Was this actually the role of Sofia that you went up for?
Julia: I believe so.
Soaps.com: She sounds like a great character! What else can you tell us about the character or her background?
Julia: She’s actually the Chief Financial Officer of Tucker McCall Unlimited, so I’m coming in as a businesswoman. As a double entendre, I'm a little well-rounded; [laughs] I get to have a business life and a love life.
Soaps.com: Awesome. So, what’s it been like on the set of Y&R?
Julia: It was really intimidating at first, but now I’ve been working a few weeks. It’s kind of like they just throw you in there and that wasn't really fun. Kristoff [St. John, Neil Winters], Darius [McCrary, Malcolm Winters] and Stephen [Nichols, Tucker McCall] have all been really supportive and helpful, and they’re just great to work with.
Soaps.com: Have you worked with anyone else?
Julia: I had some great scenes with Mrs. Chancellor [Jeanne Cooper]. I haven’t had any scenes with Mr. Victor Newman [Eric Braeden] yet. We met one of the days; we shared some screen time, but I haven’t had one-on-one time, but he leaned over and whispered, “You look hot.” [laughs] After watching him all these years, and that’s the first thing he says; so that was kind of cool.
Soaps.com: If Sofia's in business, she'll probably cross paths with Victor, and with Jack Abbott.
Julia: [coyly] I might have already shared some time with Jack Abbott [Peter Bergman].
Soaps.com: Busy girl! So what is your take on Sofia’s upcoming storyline, and what can viewers expect; is she sort of eased into things or does she jump right into a front burner situation?
Julia: I would say she doesn’t ease into anything.
Soaps.com: So, she's coming on like wildfire?
Soaps.com: Does the character have an agenda, or is she pretty straight up?
Julia: I can say that she’s pretty straight up.
Soaps.com: Can we expect Sofia to spice up the Winters family storyline, or be more a part of the corporate scene with Tucker, or both?
Julia: I think it’s both. That’s one of the things I’m really excited about. That I get to live in both of the worlds.
Julia debuts as Sofia Dupre on Y&R today, Tuesday July 20, so be sure to watch, and let Soaps.com in on your thoughts on the new character using the comment section below!
- Candace Young