The 30-year-old actress stars in “Single Drunk Female,” a comedic series created by Simone Finch and produced by Jenni Konner.
Freeform’s new series, “Single Drunk Female,” starts with its main character hitting rock bottom. Samantha is in her late 20s and living in New York, where she works at a clickbait news website named Bzzz — both a nod toward BuzzFeed and the character’s tendency to show up to work buzzed. After a drunken incident on the job, Sam is forced to move home and recalibrate her life.
The series — which counts “Girls” alum Jenni Konner as an executive producer — is an unlikely comedy about the journey toward sobriety. For lead actress Sofia Black-D’Elia, balancing the heaviness of the subject matter with a comedic tone proved the biggest challenge of making sure the premise landed.
“[That challenge] is also the thing that’s most rewarding,” says the Brooklyn-based actress, whose previous credits include “The Mick” and the original “Gossip Girl.” “The material that I’m most drawn to as an audience member, as an actor, are things that are reflective of the human experience — which I think is often very funny and very sad at the same time,” she adds.
Black-D’Elia credits series creator and writer Simone Finch (who formerly worked on “The Conners”) for the nuanced portrayal of the relationships and situations that surround AA. Sam navigates new dynamics with her sponsor, fellow group members, childhood friends, and mother, a role played by Ally Sheedy. “I was surprised at how well [Finch] was able to tell this story of recovery in a half hour comedy format,” says Black-D’Elia.
Finch based the series on her own experiences, and was an invaluable resource for Black-D’Elia and the rest of the cast throughout filming. “Simone was so generous, and continues to be so generous, with all of us about her life and her journey through recovery,” she says. “As an actor, I don’t really like to play myself — I want to play a character that’s unfamiliar to me and dive headfirst into a world that I don’t know as well as my own,” she continues. “I was really excited to investigate Simone’s experience and understand that better.”
The pilot filmed at the end of 2020, and the full series was filmed in Atlanta this past summer. While a second season hasn’t yet been announced, Black-D’Elia is hopeful.
“I have no control over what happens next and I’m not very good at predicting the future, but I hope that audiences connect to [the show],” she says. “And especially those that might relate to Sam for Anonymous reasons, I hope that they find hope and joy in the show. And hopefully we get to do it again — I think there’s a lot left in these relationships to explore.”