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Interview The Hollywood Reporter

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER‘Single Drunk Female’ Star Sofia Black-D’Elia on Learning from Kaitlin Olson, Texting With Ally Sheedy and Nearly Quitting Because of Evan Peters

The New Jersey native (and newlywed!) on nailing the authenticity of playing drunk and sober, keeping gratitude front and center, and rising to meet the next phase of her career: “I do feel ready for it.”

Actors have long had to deal with the same occupational hazard in public spaces: hearing fans shout out character names as they pass by. And while Sofia Black-D’Elia, 30, has been acting consistently since age 18 (she quit a job scooping frozen yogurt at TCBY for her first professional job on All My Children and never looked back), thanks to a breakout turn as the title character on Freeform’s critically acclaimed Single Drunk Female, the New Jersey native is hearing more than “Samantha!”

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Sofia Black-D’Elia for Story And Rain

SCREENED | SOFIA BLACK-D’ELIA
Getting Into Character With Single Drunk Female Star Sofia Black-D’Elia

Breakout star and actor Sofia Black-D’Elia, of Freeform’s boldly-titled Single Drunk Female, enjoys the message of hope that emerges across ten episodes in the series that is executive-produced by Girls’ Jenni Konner. Black-D’Elia shares a similar sense of humor with Konner, whom she describes as “quick, really smart, a good hang, and everything you would want in a show partner.” Launching her career on All My Children, and with roles on Gossip Girl, MTV’s Skins, The Mick, and more, Sofia’s performance in the dark comedy, currently streaming and recently airing its season finale, is beautifully nuanced and displays a level of savvy that makes her one to watch—leaving us wanting more. We first meet her character Samantha Fink in a dark place of addiction, one where Sofia focused on “finding the funny.” She loves playing someone who’s gaining confidence and becoming more hopeful, as opposed to the cliché flip-side of many on-screen stories centered around the journey of finding sobriety. We sat down with the 30-year-old northern New Jersey native tasked with helping to portray Writer-Creator Simone Finch’s semi-autobiographical story, to talk about the similarities and differences, the approach to the series’ subject matter, Gen Z, convincing costumes, and more.

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Sofia Black-D’Elia Is Comedy’s New It Girl (Who What Wear)

Sofia Black-D’Elia was anxious about turning 30. That was until she met her Single Drunk Female character Samantha Fink. “It was like, ‘Well, I’m not this bad!’” she laughs, alluding to the onslaught of cringe-worthy choices Samantha makes throughout the show. The Freeform comedy about a 28-year-old woman coming to terms with her alcohol abuse and navigating sobriety back home is a refreshing depiction of addiction, grief, and complicated family relationships. But perhaps what the show does best is bring a more honest lightness to the serious subject matter. After all, it’s not only dark times. There are joyful moments in the recovery process too.

Despite the positive response to the show’s first two episodes, Black-D’Elia is still feeling the pressure of starring in a comedy about such heavy topics. “You can tell by my babbling I’m still freaked out by it,” she says. To be fair, the actress is still somewhat new to the world of comedy. While evidence of her ability to bring the funny is on display in the Fox series The Mick, the majority of her work has consisted of bad-girl types in dramas such as Skins and The Night Of, so naturally, she had some nerves going in. “I think it’s a really fine line to me,” she says of creating a dark comedy like Single Drunk Female. “Especially first seasons of a comedy, you’re finding [your footing] regardless of the topic or the tone. … From the second I read the pilot, I was like, ‘Oh, this is going to be tough.’” Continue reading

Sofia Black-D’Elia Doesn’t Want to Play Herself (WWD)

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.”

SOURCE WWD

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