Was Brittany Bradford’s Character “Alice” in HBOMAX’s “Julia” a Real Person?

Actress Brittany Bradford secured her first-ever screen role in the HBOMax series Julia based on the life of Julia Child, an American TV personality, chef, and author. Bradford portrays Alice Naman, a public-television producer who is instrumental in launching Child’s TV career.

Following Child’s appearance on a public access book review show for her cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Alice notices the amount of fan mail that came into the station and helps to launch Child’s famous show, The French Chef. Of course, it’s a lot more complicated than just that.

While most of the characters in the series are based on actual people in Child’s life, “Alice” is a fictional character. During the AAFCA roundtable discussion, Bradford shared that the character was loosely based on real-life Black producers around the same time as Julia Child. Combined with Ruth Lockwood, a white producer at WGBH who became an integral part of Child’s team.

Bradford also discussed how the producers crafted a friendship between Child’s liberal best friend Avis (Bebe Neuwirth), and their approach to the dynamics of that friendship with Jill Munroe.

Bradford says that the producers and she had a conversation about they would approach some of those scenes with nuance. They wanted to examine how they felt a Black woman in the 1960s would navigate the landscape as a whole.

The series has been renewed for a second season.