Breaking the Cookie Cutter: An Interview with Julia Pace Mitchell

09 Aug

NTIWTKOT: Hey there everyone! I have the distinct pleasure of welcoming Ms. Julia Pace Mitchell, aka Sofia Dupree from the Young and the Restless. Welcome to Not That I Watch That Kind of Thing and thanks for coming on with us.

JPM: No problem, it’s a pleasure. I thought the name of your blog is kind of funny . It sparked my interest.
NTIWTKOT: I know you’ve read NTIWTKOT, so you know a little about my railing about not having much to look at as a Black Male watching Y & R. You were like a breath of fresh air! How did you get the part?
JPM: Thank you very much for that, it’s a lot to look at now (wink wink). I auditioned just like every other actress in LA, I went in, put my best foot forward, I went in every Thursday for like a month and a half. I quit my regular job and just drove out there. Then I became Ms. Sofia Dupree!
NTIWTKOT: So were you a Y & R fan?
JPM: I was, but I wasn’t like a hardcore fan, but my sister was and when she heard I was going to audition, we watched it on Youtube with like Drucilla and Malcolm and what not. Now you sound like you’ve been watching for a while, when did you start watching?
NTIWTKOT: I actually started when I was 3, getting home from pre-school and my mother would be watching. That’s when Nikki was a stripper, so that was a big thrill for a three year old. I really didn’t start watching faithfully until was kind of one of those reminiscing on childhood things.
NTIWTKOT: Sofia seems like a confident, self-assured woman. What kind of reaction have you gotten from fans?
JPM: It’s funny, because everybody’s either loved Sofia or hated her. I went down to the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) convention last week, and all these Black women were coming up to me and tell me how good it is to see a Black woman on there who looks like a Black woman. That kind of touched me. A lot of them were expecting Dru or someone to come back and they were really shocked to see me. They said how they used to watch with their grandmothers and how nice it is to see a reflection of themselves. That meant a lot.
NTIWTKOT: No pressure there, right?
JPM: (joking) No, not at all…I have to hold up the race
NTIWTKOT: Describe Sofia for NTIWTKOT.
JPM: I think she’s strong, smart, and calculating on one side of the table, but also sweet and loving on the other side of the table. It’s cool as an actress getting to play both sides, I have the business side and the love side with Darius [McCrary, Malcolm]…got a little Chocolate love going on! (laughing) 
NTIWTKOT: What would be your dream storyline as Sofia?
JPM: As an actress, it would probably be for her to have a split personality or something. Something really juicy that I can get into like that. A huge, big wedding with Malcolm and then maybe like a torrid affair with Victor Newman or something. I’d love to go toe to toe with Victor Newman!
NTIWTKOT: Oh, that would be great! Victor Newman was like the coolest man alive. I used his game in high school, coming up to girls like “Is something troubling you?”
JPM: Yeah, he’s really cool in real life too. 
NTIWTKOT: Nice segue! So how’s it been working with the rest of the cast thus far?
JPM: It’s been great! Everyone’s been really supportive, like Steve McNicols (Tucker) has been really cheering me on. I haven’t gotten to meet everyone yet, though, just the ones I’ve had scenes with.
NTIWTKOT: I’m glad you said that, because I know for me, it’s hard not to think of Genoa City like it’s a real town and just thinking everyone’s in the room at the same time.
NTIWTKOT: Just delving into you a little bit, I know acting is in your blood, with your father Don Mitchell and your mother Judy Pace both accomplished actors. How long have you been acting? 
JPM: Since I was like 5 or 6, I’d just do plays, dancing, singing in the backyard. I really didn’t start professionally until high school, though.
NTIWTKOT: The first time I ever saw you was the Playtex ads and I was struck by how beautiful you are. 
JPM: Thank you! You know, it’s funny, men have loved those commercials. They started running them during basketball games to test it with another demographic and they did well. Those commercials were great for me! They allowed me to quit my regular job in New York.
NTIWTKOT: I think the media kind of pushes one standard of beauty, but if you ask real men, they truly appreciate more types of women than you’re led to believe. As a dark-skinned, full-figured sister have you found that Hollywood has pigeonholed you at all?
JPM: It’s hard to say, but I’m going to say no because I won’t let them. I want to be another Hollywood standard of beauty, like they talk about Halle Berry, I want them to talk about Julia Pace Mitchell, you know? I know it sounds arrogant, but that’s what I’m aiming for. I want to be in movies as the love interest, not the best friend. That means having to write and produce my own material. 
NTIWTKOT: I saw your work in Notorious. Was it hard to play Jan, who seems so different from you?
JPM: It was cool! As you can tell, I’m a California girl, so I had to work hard to get that Brooklyn accent and I had to gain more weight for the role, but it was good. I got to meet the real Jan. A lot of people didn’t notice her in the movie
NTIWTKOT: Okay, onto “3 Stupid questions I wondered” If your life were a movie, what are 3 songs from the soundtrack?
JPM: As-Stevie Wonder
Cosmic Girl-Jamiroquai
Doo Doo Brown-Luke (laughing)
NTIWTKOT: Are you Greek?
JPM: It’s funny, because my mom and my sister are AKAs, but I was just in the Fine Arts building
NTIWTKOT: Is this the year that the Howard football team FINALLY beats Hampton after 15 years?
JPM: You know what, I don’t know, but even if we lose on the scoreboard, we’ll win on the flyness scale. (Note: Hampton beat Howard 37-0 in 2009. Ed.)
NTIWTKOT: Last but not least, any messages for your fans?
JPM: Yes! Whether you love Sofia or hate Sofia, please just go the Message Boards and tell them you want to see more with her and the Winters family, and just some storylines with the Winters outside of their own world.
NTIWTKOT: Well, Ms. Pace-Mitchell, I can’t express enough how glad I am to see you on Y & R. You’ve got fans here! Before you go, if someone wanted to find out more about Julia Pace Mitchell, where can they go?
JPM: You can go to 

NTIWTKOT: Best wishes for continued success, and I’d love to talk to you again sometime!
JPM: Thank you! I’d love to do it again when I get a juicy storyline or something and sign up for updates, write me e-mails, etc. It’s actually me that’s responding, not someone in an office or something!


Posted by on August 9, 2010 in Gumbo


2 responses to “Breaking the Cookie Cutter: An Interview with Julia Pace Mitchell

  1. Fred

    August 9, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Great interview. It’s great to hear from the actress. Loving the blog. Loving Julia as Sofia on Y&R!

  2. oldschool

    August 19, 2011 at 12:58 am

    I stumbled across this blog entry and found it hilarious when you stated you’ve been watching Y & R since you were three years old. I was about five years old… and Nikki was a stripper! I think we started watching around the same time. The first scene I ever remember watching was with Nikki & ‘Cash’ in the strip club… crazy!


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