“There is work, and there is pleasure, Acting is pleasure.” Sofia Vassilieva.
American child actress of Russian descent Sofia Vassilieva was discovered at the age of 7 at the International Modeling and Talent Association (IMTA) in New York. She got her first big break in acting when she was chosen to play the title role in the TV movie sequels "Eloise at the Plaza" (2003) and "Eloise at Christmastime" (2003), which earned her a Young Artist Award nomination.
Sofia now plays Ariel DuBois, the eldest DuBois daughter (her parents played by Patricia Arquette and Jake Weber), on the NBC drama series "Medium" (2005-????). She has appeared in the film "Day Zero" (2007) and will next be seen in the upcoming films "Hurt" and "My Sister's Keeper."
“It (acting) is something I want to do as long as I live.” Sofia Vassilieva.
Childhood and Family:
“My mother is my hero.” Sofia Vassilieva.
On October 22, 1992, Sofia Vladimirovna Vassilieva, nicknamed Sonya, was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Daughter to a mother who has Ph.D. degree in Evolutionary Genetics and a father who holds Ph.D. in Cosmic Ray Physics, Sofia started speaking French and reading in Russian and English when she was 3. She is now fluent in these three languages and enjoys studying Spanish and American Sign Language. She started taking ballet at 3, gymnastics at 5, playing piano at 7, riding horses at 10, and recently became fascinated by yoga. She is a vegetarian.
Sofia studied ballet at the Eugene School of Ballet, Oregon, where she danced in the theatrical productions of "Celtic Dances" at the Creative Dance School of Tucson, "Alice in Wonderland," "The Nutcracker" and "Pinocchio." Also a talented gymnast, she reached the silver level in the American Talent Opportunity program for gifted children within a few months of training.
Sofia, who skipped one grade in Elementary School, had lived in Minnesota, Oregon, Arizona and Utah before moving to Los Angeles at 11. By 14, she has already visited Italy, Austria, France, Canada, England, Japan, Spain, and Russia including Siberia.
“Oh! I would like to learn so many things: I'd like to take tennis classes, I'd like continuing vocal lessons, and I'd definitely like taking more ice skating and more tap. I'd like to really learn painting, and I'd like to learn Tibetan - Lhasa Dialect - and really learn Farsi, so that I can speak to my friend and her family; I would like to learn so many things. But I just barely have enough time to do what I am doing now.” Sofia Vassilieva.
Sofia resides in Sandy, Utah with her parents and a cat. In her spare time, she enjoys ice skating, swimming, diving, roller skating, biking, and playing outside with her friends.
“As long as you can laugh you are not old.” Sofia Vassilieva.
At the age of 7, Sofia Vassilieva was discovered at the International Modeling and Talent Association (IMTA) in New York, where she won 7 awards, including the title of Child Actress and first runner-up Child Model Of The Year in 2000.
In the following year, she entered television with a guest spot as Elena, the granddaughter of a retired Russian General, in the episode "Deadline" of CBS serial drama "The Agency." Afterwards, she portrayed Cindy Brady in the made-for-television movie "The Brady Bunch in the White House" (2002), and played the title role in the TV movie sequels "Eloise at the Plaza" (2003) and "Eloise at Christmastime" (2003), opposite Julie Andrews.
About the filming of the "Eloise" movies, Sofia recalled, “It was like a long vacation, a 54 -day vacation.”
Beating out Dakota Fanning to the Eloise role in the “Eloise” movies, Sofia received a Young Artist Award nomination for Best Performance in a TV Movie, Miniseries or Special - Leading Young Actress for her performance in “Eloise at Christmastime” (2003). Also in 2003, Sofia shared the screen with Malcolm McDowell in the direct-to-video released movie "Inhabited."
In 2005, Sofia landed a co-starring role as Ariel DuBois, the eldest DuBois daughter (her parents played by Patricia Arquette and Jake Weber), on the NBC drama series "Medium." For her performance in the show, Sofia won a Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a TV Series (Drama) - Supporting Young Actress. Debuting on January 3, 2005, the show will begin its fourth season in early 2009.
“... I want to be challenged, I want to work, and I want to feel that I am not being held back, that there is something in front of me, something more inspiring than... just eating breakfast, you know?” Sofia Vassilieva.
Meanwhile, Sofia was cast alongside Elijah Wood, Chris Klein, and Jon Bernthal, in Bryan Gunnar Cole's drama film "Day Zero" (2007). She was offered the part of Claire in The Clique (2008; V), but bowed out due to scheduling conflicts.
Sofia recently completed her new film, "Hurt," a horror/thriller by Barbara Stepansky in which she plays a lovely yet troubled foster child named Sarah. She is currently filming "My Sister's Keeper," Nick Cassavetes' upcoming film adaptation of the novel by Jodi Picoult which also stars Cameron Diaz and Alec Baldwin. She booked the part of the leukemia-suffering character of Kate in the film after Dakota Fanning stepped down, upon refusing to shave her head for the part.
On her role in “My Sister's Keeper,” Sofia explained, “There are scripts when you fall so much in love with your character. And if you are lucky and offered this part you should not tempt your fate and go to the greatest extent to be/to play this character. If you have an opportunity to do that and you do not, it's shameful. Shaving my head was the least I could do for Kate to experience the degree of her isolation and outcast from a 'normal' healthy life. It is like balancing between two realities.”
Young Artist: Best Performance in a TV Series (Drama) - Supporting Young Actress, "Medium," 2006