Ally Sheedy interview: ‘Single Drunk Female’
“I fell in love with Carol’s character right away,” shares Ally Sheedy about her role on Freeform’s “Single Drunk Female.” On the comedy series, she plays the mother of an alcoholic, Sam (Sofia Black-D’Elia), who moves back home to get sober after a very public (and criminal) mishap at her job in New York. The actress notes that “very complicated dynamic between a mother and daughter” drew her to the project and she praises the writing of the two characters as “very on point.” Watch our exclusive video interview above.
The series opens with Carol at a breaking point with Sam, who has a very rocky start on her recovery journey. “I don’t want my life to be about her,” Sheedy says of how her character feels, adding, “I don’t trust that she’s gonna stop drinking.” She talks about how she and Black-D’Elia discovered their complicated dynamic early on, admitting, “I felt like I’ve known Sofia for some reason for my whole life,” observing that “there’s a level of comfort” between the two. “The relationship during the show, it progresses, but by inches,” continues the actress, a pace that she admits, “I really like.”
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The first season of “Single Drunk Female” unfolds over the course of Sam’s first year of sobriety. Even though every month is a major milestone for someone in recovery, Sheedy says Carol doesn’t register how long Sam has been sober. “It’s an entire life of what we’ve lived through,” she says of just how long Carol has been grappling with Sam’s alcoholism, which affected Sam’s ability to be there for the family as her father and Carol’s husband David was dying. Even though Carol may not pay attention to the markers of Sam’s sobriety, the actress definitely registered and reacted to how Black-D’Elia “very delicately and in a very complicated way” was “moving her character along inch by inch by inch.”
Aside from her tumultuous relationship with Sam, Carol is also in a relationship with boyfriend Bob (Ian Gomez). “That relationship has a lot of question marks for me, as Carol,” says Sheedy of how her character feels about their dynamic. She concedes that Carol is “a control freak,” so the character “doesn’t want anybody making decisions for her,” including Bob. “Carol does have a lot of grief, depth of emotion, a lot of anger, a lot of regret,” observes the actress, and she notes how because of those complicated emotions, Carol doesn’t “want to be asked to do too much, or pushed to do too much.” Those feelings extend to her interactions with Sam’s sponsor Olivia (Rebecca Henderson), who Carol has a “jealousy” of and “competition with” for Sam’s attention.
“Single Drunk Female” will return for a second season. Although Sheedy doesn’t share any teasers about where the show and character might be headed in the next batch of episodes, she does emphasize that as much as things change between Carol and Sam, they’ll also just as likely stay the same. She pinpoints a scene in the penultimate episode “Higher Parent” in which the mother and daughter spread David’s ashes, revealing, “That scene could have been a turning point, but because of their relationship, it’s not quite a turning point.” The actress predicts their “friction” will continue going forward.