LOS ANGELES —Darrin Butters may not be the only one in his family who will win an Oscar. His 4-year-old daughter, Julia, is already following in her dad’s footsteps.
Julia recently made her television debut on the CBS drama “Criminal Minds.” Julia plays Gabby, a 4-year-old abducted from the back of a vehicle late one evening in Mississippi, on the episode titled “Gabby.” The episode centers on the show’s Behavioral Analysis Unit as it attempts to find Gabby and apprehend the kidnapper.
The episode, which aired Feb. 26, can be viewed at cbs.com/shows/criminal_minds.
The “Criminal Minds” job is Julia’s first speaking role, but she has had an agent for two years and has appeared in several print and television advertisements, including a commercial for California Almonds.
“She has a natural interest in it,” said Julia’s grandmother Velda Butters of Kearney. “She’s following in her parents’ footsteps. I would not be surprised if she does another TV show or movie.”
Darrin Butters and his wife, Lorelei, have never pressured Julia into acting or performing, he said. She’s a natural performer and genuinely enjoys acting out roles.
“She loves to pretend, and she gets lost in the imagination,” Butters said. “When she was on ‘Criminal Minds,’ she would get antsy when she wasn’t on set. She wanted to get back out there and pretend.”
Darrin and Lorelei take Julia to an average of one or two auditions a month, depending on the season. She’s too young to understand what it means to “get the part,” and for now, her parents want to keep it that way and just let her have fun.
“This is something that she loves to do,” Butters said. “Both her mother and I have said that the minute she doesn’t want to do it anymore, we’re going to stop.”
In the future, though, if she wants to pursue acting as a serious career, her parents would support that. As a father, Butters wants the best for his child and for her to enjoy what she does, whether that brings her fame and awards or not.
“I don’t want her to be famous, I want her to be successful,” Butters said. “If she loves what she’s doing and can make a living doing what she does, like I do, then she’ll never have to work a day in her life. It will always be play. If that’s possible for her, then that’s success.”