Photo by: Paras Griffin/Contributor
It’s twin ‘n ‘nem!
Goodwin plays Monica, a Houston talk show star who is mourning the death of her beloved father in the new adaptation. Riley plays Simone, Monica’s overbearing assistant. And you already know things went all the way left!
Given how many people, including themselves, have mistaken Goodwin and Riley for one other over the years, the casting feels especially right.
“It was like the Spider-Man meme,” Riley said. “I saw it when we started showing up on each other’s red-carpet pictures. There were a couple where we wore kind of the same outfit, and it didn’t register to me that it wasn’t me.”
When Goodwin met Riley at Glee auditions when she was 17-years-old, it was evident that Riley had landed the role of Mercedes Jones in the hit television program. But it wasn’t until they were both on TV at the same time when Goodwin was portraying Niecy Patterson in Being Mary Jane, that she realized how much they looked alike.
Because they look so much alike, the two were always interested in working together on screen.
“You know when I got the script for Single Black Female I thought it was so cool that they wanted two beautiful, voluptuous Black women to star in a psychological thriller. So of course, I could not turn that down,” said Goodwin on a recent interview with Good Morning America.
Riley and Goodwin are both enthusiasts of psychological suspense. Despite an increase in the number of thrillers starring Black women, the genre remains predominantly White.
Even rarer is a film starring two plus-size Black women in which their size isn’t the point — or even a matter of conversation. That’s with thanks to a note Goodwin sent to the film’s writers early on, which also include putting a stop to any negative stereotypes of plus-sized women in the initial script.
In the first version, the script shows Monica, distraught about her father’s death and a tragic breakup, rolling out of bed and poking her tummy in the mirror.
“I was like, ‘Absolutely not,’” she said. “That is not what we do when we need to feel powerful, that is not what we do when we need another reason to get on about life.”
Goodwin continued: “I think we take the opposite approach. We look in the mirror like, ‘Ooh, I’m fine, let me pump myself up to get back out here.’”
Riley chimed in as well describing Monica as a powerful woman that doesn’t capture one waking up and poking at her weight. Nor would Riley and Goodwin.
On social media, the trailer for the film attracted mixed reviews, with some users concerned over the film’s portrayal of a Black woman as insane.
Acknowledging the scrutiny that the film received, Riley stated, “movies are made to be enjoyed, and it’s not a documentary. It’s a scripted film, and a lot of things are exaggerated. It’s just pure entertainment.”
Fans had a lot to say about the character Simone.
One fan tweeted “She had the neighbors decapitated head in her backpack the whole time.”
Another fan said “Amber Riley is playing this role a little too good. #SingleBlackFemale.”
Riley and Goodwin had the chance to collaborate with several artists they admired throughout their careers on Single Black Female, including director Shari L. Carpenter.
“I was ecstatic when I found out she was engaged,” Riley commented. “I adored her work on ‘Queen Sugar.'”
Riley added, “she was simply wonderful to work with, and we had some fantastic chats.” And I believe she was instrumental in helping me discover my character’s heart and development.”
Have y’all watched the movie? Will you still think that the actresses are two different people now?