Sofia Vassilieva Became an Ambassador for Stand up to Cancer — Facts about the Actress

Actress Sofia Vassilieva played a terminal cancer patient, and that experience changed her life. She became an ambassador for Stand up to Cancer after finishing the movie.

Sofia Vladimirovna Vassilieva, 29, is an American actress, the daughter of Russian immigrants, who has been known for playing roles with high dramatic and emotional content. Although her parents emigrated from Russia, she was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Her acting career began at a very young age, and she successfully transitioned into a teenage actress. Now, as an adult actress, she has been noted for her characters in TV series and movies.

Sofia Vassilieva attending Princess Grace Awards Gala in New York City, in November 2011.| Image: Getty Images.

Sofia Vassilieva attending Princess Grace Awards Gala in New York City, in November 2011.| Image: Getty Images.

As the daughter of two highly educated scientists, she is a vastly trained person. Sofia's parents were able to give their daughter the opportunity to explore her interests and pursue what she truly loved, acting.

In her portrayal of Kate, a teenager with terminal cancer, Sofiavisited various hospitals and interacted with patients with this ailment. Her concern was to represent them with respect and dignity, and she later became Ambassador for Stand up to Cancer.

EARLY YEARS

The actress began taking ballet classes at 3 years old, gymnastics at 5, piano lessons at 7, and horse riding at 10. In addition, she has a special talent for languages: she speaks English, Russian and French fluently, although she also learned Spanish and sign languages.

With her parents' support, she participated in the 2000 International Modeling and Talent Association, where she was named actress of the year. In no time, she landed her first role, and from there, she went on to work on "Medium."

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS OF HER TALENT

As a very talented girl, Sofia has received two awards for her performances. She first received a Young Artist Award nomination in 2004 for Best Performance in a TV Movie, Miniseries or Special -- Leading Young Actress for "Eloise at Christmastime."

For the same awards, she then won Best Performance in a TV Series (Drama) -- Supporting Young Actress for "Medium." Four years later, in 2010, she won Best Performance in a Feature Film -- Supporting Young Actress for "My Sister's Keeper."

BIG ROLE

When she was offered the role of Kate in "My Sister's Keeper," Sofia signed on to the project with some fear. However, the experience of having Cameron Diaz as her movie mother made a difference, according to her.

Despite how emotional and intense the scenes were -- the young actress ended up crying at the end of each take -- it was Díaz and director Nick Cassavetes's advice and support that convinced her she could do it.

FAMILY SUPPORT

Of course, her mother, Larissa Vassilieva, was also of great help. To help Sofia balance the intense emotions that developed during filming, she counted on returning to the trailer where her mom hugged her and let her cry.

Sofia also had to agree to shave her head and eyebrows, which was very difficult as a teenager. Her experience changed her life and made her aware of the suffering of patients and their families, and encouraged her to do something to help as an ambassador.

NEW SERIES

Now Sofia is enjoying playing other roles, although she is still known for the dramatic intensity of her performances. She appears in "Looking for Alaska," Hulu’s adaptation of John Green’s book, as Lara.

As the daughter of immigrants herself, the actress identifies on a deeper level with Lara. The character's storyline ties in with Sofia's sense of honor and responsibility towards her parents' sacrifices to provide the opportunities she has. 

NEW MOVIE

In addition to seeing her in “Looking for Alaska,” her fans will be able to enjoy Sofia's talent in the film “The Little Things” alongside Jared Leto, Denzel Washington, and Rami Malek.

She is very excited to have played the fun and adventurous Tina Salvatore. Although the protagonist can become a victim, she also uses her tenacity and courage to get ahead. Besides the excellent actors, she was directed by John Lee Hancock.

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