Amber Riley Discusses Single Black Female on Lifetime
Amber Riley and Raven Goodwin are finally sharing a screen after years of comparisons, and it’s the perfect pairing. Lifetime‘s upcoming “Single Black Female” follows Monica (Goodwin) as she grieves the loss of her father. While she’s coping with her loss, she gets a new assistant, Simone (Riley), who she has more in common with than their resemblance. The remake of “Single White Female” has several plot differences from the 1992 psychological thriller, but the creepiness is still there. POPSUGAR spoke to Riley about working with Goodwin, starring in a remake, and what’s in store for her musical future.
Riley was offered the role with her and Goodwin already at the top of the casting directors’ wish list. “It was really cool. Me and Raven already wanted to do a project together. We’ve known each other for years. We’ve been good friends for years. So it was really exciting and kind of like a no-brainer. It was automatic yes for me,” Riley shares.
“Me and Raven already wanted to do a project together. We’ve known each other for years. We’ve been good friends for years.”
The two have faced comparisons for years, and the Lifetime film embraces that. For the “Glee” alum it’s been “flattering” most of the time, but the caveat is that the actors aren’t appropriately credited for their projects. “I just always want other actors – because I’ve been compared to other Black actors also – I want them to get their shine and I want them to get their appropriate flowers,” Riley says, adding, “Most of the time it’s flattering, because [Raven]’s so gorgeous and she’s done so much in this industry. But at the same time, it’s like when she does something amazing, like playing Denise in ‘The Clark Sisters,’ give her her props where it’s due because she did an amazing job in it. So it’s a good side and a bad side to it.”
When it comes to “Single Black Female,” the actors couldn’t be any more opposite in their roles. Riley takes on a stalker persona, which is a strong departure from projects she’s done in the past. “It was just fun to play something completely different. This is my first time being in a thriller, so it was kind of exciting to be able to play someone so crazy and to show a different side in a different skill in my acting,” she says, noting that Simone is “crazy.”
The overall essence of “Single White Female” is present through Simone, but “Single Black Female” holds the power to stand alone from its predecessor. “It’s a cult classic and it’s a fun thriller, and I think that we kind of captured the suspense like the original film does,” Riley says with confidence. “[The] only thing they left out was the stiletto,” she says, referring to the iconic scene in the 1992 thriller when Hedy (Jennifer Jason Leigh) stabs Allie’s (Bridget Fonda) ex-boyfriend Sam (Steven Weber). “We don’t have that in the film; we have something much better. We have something cooler.”
And if you drink, Riley suggests watching the movie along with a drinking game. Take a sip or a shot “every time someone screams, every time Simone kind of pops up out of nowhere, and every time you hear the word ‘sister.'” Fair warning, these three things happen a lot in the film.
“I’m working on my second EP. . . I think this time around, I’m working on more ballads and bigger songs.”
When it comes to life after “Single Black Female,” Riley says, “I think who I am as a person is more in my music. And as an artist, it’s more in my music in my artistry than as an actor. . . I’m working on my second EP. It’s always going to be R&B and soul. I think this time around I’m working on more ballads and bigger songs. Whereas the first time I was giving you good vibes, R&B vibes. . . But, I think they’ll be a little bit bigger and a little more soulful.” Riley debuted her first EP titled, “Compromise” in Dec. 2020 under her mononymous stage name RILEY.
In addition to music, Riley foresees herself being the star of her own show. “I definitely want my own television show. That’s a dream that I’ve had since I was a little girl,” she shares. “I definitely envision in the next couple of years it’s something that I’m working toward with creating, producing, and starring in my own TV show.” Many actors have been taking that route lately, and they’re winning!
“Single Black Female” premieres on Lifetime on Feb. 5 at 8 p.m. EST, 7 p.m. CT.