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'Mixtape' on Netflix: Julie Bowen reminisces about 'defiantly unsexy' 1990s in nostalgia-filled Y2K movie

·3-min read

Gone are the days of drinking Tab, using Napster and Y2K conspiracy theories but Julie Bowen (Modern Family) and Gemma Brooke Allen (Kate) are taking us back to the “defiantly unsexy” 1990s in Mixtape on Netflix.

“It definitely brought back a lot of really great memories and I loved the way people dressed in the ‘90s,” Bowen told Yahoo Canada. “There was something about it that was defiantly unsexy and I really liked that a lot.”

“You could get a little sexy but still, the people…were wearing thrift store sweaters and big boots, and there's something about that, that to me always just felt like, that's my sweet spot.”

Mixtape. (L-R)  Gemma Brooke Allen as Beverly, Julie Bowen as Gail in Mixtape. (Jake Giles Netter/Netflix)
Mixtape. (L-R) Gemma Brooke Allen as Beverly, Julie Bowen as Gail in Mixtape. (Jake Giles Netter/Netflix)

Set in Spokane, Washington in 1999 Bowen plays Gail, grandmother to 12-year-old Beverly Moody (Allen) and now her sole guardian after the sudden death of Beverly’s parents. As Gail and Beverly prepare for the possible end of the world with Y2K approaching, Beverly finds a mixtape made by her parents and goes on a quest to listen to all of the songs to learn more about them, the teen parents she never really got the opportunity to know very well.

Beverly is the quintessential child of 1990s dreams. We are initially introduced to her in jeans and a big purple sweater, layered over a turtleneck with a delicate floral print, transporting all of the children of the 1990s right back to our youth.

“I’m so grateful that I got the opportunity to bring Beverly to life,” Allen told Yahoo Canada. “I mean, it was fantastic, working with all these amazing people, and I love Beverly.”

Mixtape. (L-R)  Gemma Brooke Allen as Beverly, Olga Petsa as Nicky, Audrey Hsieh as Ellen in Mixtape. (Jake Giles Netter/Netflix)
Mixtape. (L-R) Gemma Brooke Allen as Beverly, Olga Petsa as Nicky, Audrey Hsieh as Ellen in Mixtape. (Jake Giles Netter/Netflix)

Beverly’s story really starts to take shape when she befriends her quirky neighbour Ellen (Audrey Hsieh) and the tough Nicky schoolmate (Olga Petsa), with the three of them working together to decipher a message from the mixtape.

“As a kid, I've been usually acting with adults, I had never acted with kids my age ever before and this connection that I made with them was amazing, unbreakable, we still text every day,” Allen revealed.

Mixtape. (L-R)  Gemma Brooke Allen as Beverly, Julie Bowen as Gail in Mixtape. (Jake Giles Netter/Netflix)
Mixtape. (L-R) Gemma Brooke Allen as Beverly, Julie Bowen as Gail in Mixtape. (Jake Giles Netter/Netflix)

Julie Bowen moving on from Claire Dunphy in 'Modern Family'

While much of this story is quite fun as we walk through this childhood adventure, there’s also an emotional side to the story, particularly as it relates to Bowen’s character who is taking care of her granddaughter while managing the grief of the tragic sudden loss of her daughter, which is a bit of a departure to how we saw the her as Claire Dunphy in Modern Family.

“I think that's why I took the role,” Bowen said. “I love Claire and I will always carry Claire around, and I still answer to Claire in the grocery store, and always will.”

“But when I signed up to be an actor and pursue that dream, I always thought it would be to play all sorts of different roles and to have the good fortune to play one person for 11 years, that's great, but on the flip side it's hard to have people see you in any other way. So this was an opportunity to see whether or not I still could stretch that muscle out.”

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