Sofia Black-D’Elia (‘Single Drunk Female’) talks ‘challenges’ of depicting ‘huge changes’ that occur on road to sobriety [Exclusive Video Interview]

“I had an instinct for how to play this character, but I also knew that it would be really challenging,” shares Sofia Black-D’Elia about the role of Sam in Freeform’s “Single Drunk Female,” a comedy about a millennial’s journey with sobriety. Based in part on series creator Simone Finch’s own life, the show features a “really truthful, honest telling of a gal getting sober,” and the actress felt “the dialogue was very grounded.” Watch our exclusive video interview above.

The first season of the series chronicles Sam’s first year of sobriety, so the time gaps between episodes are usually quite large. Black-D’Elia relished the “challenges” of having to step into the character’s shoes at these vastly different moments in time because, “There are huge changes happening every day, physically, mentally, emotionally.” In moving through 12 months so briskly, the series also shows how Sam’s relationship with her mother Carol (Ally Sheedy) develops. She was excited for the show to ask questions including, “Is she able to communicate with her mother in a more honest, empathetic way? Is it one step forward, three steps back?”

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Black-D’Elia says that one of her favorite part of working on the series is collaborating with Sheedy, who she initially felt intimidated to meet. She reveals that the actress “made being a weird, kooky brunette very cool for me as a child, so I am forever indebted to her,” referring to her on-screen mother’s past work in films like “The Breakfast Club.” She also describes her as “so warm and so collaborative,” and notes that the pairing of their characters is “not like a mother-daughter relationship you’ve seen before on TV.”

The actress discusses two episodes from the first season in detail. The first is “James,” a flashback set on a Thanksgiving that Sam spent with a man James (Garrick Bernard) who she met at her local bar as they avoid their respective families and spend the night getting increasingly drunk together. Since this is the eighth installment of the season, Black-D’Elia says the episode feels “sad” because “it’s not really fun to see these two people drunk at this point” as we’ve seen them sober on screen for so long, and she praises Bernard for his work in the “daunting episode.” She also talks about her “favorite day” of the show that occurred in the next episode, “Higher Parent,” in which Sam and Carol spread her late father’s ashes.

“Single Drunk Female” has been renewed for a second season. Even though Black-D’Elia admits she doesn’t know much about what will happen next, she shares a few ideas of what she hopes to see. First, she reveals that she pitched a “bottle episode” of Sam and Carol in “family therapy, and we leave and we’ve learned absolutely nothing.” The actress also hopes for a return appearance of the “bubbly and bright” Emmy-winning writer Mitch Hurwitz (“Arrested Development”), who played her late father David in a dream sequence. Most of all, she shares that she’d “love to see the deepening of Sam and Carol’s relationship.”

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