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‘Industry Twins’ Raven Goodwin And Amber Riley Talk Villainy And Humanity Of ‘Single Black Female’


‘Industry Twins’ Raven Goodwin And Amber Riley Talk Villainy And Humanity Of ‘Single Black Female’

Tonight, audiences will watch Raven Goodwin and Amber Riley in Lifetime’s Single Black Female, a re-imagining of the 1992 psychological thriller Single White Female. In this new take, Goodwin plays Monica, a Houston talk show host who is grieving the death of her beloved father. Riley takes on the role of Simone, a woman who is hired as Monica’s over-eager assistant. For those who are familiar with the genre, you know things go left. 

The casting feels particularly appropriate given the fact that people–including themselves at times–have mistaken Goodwin and Riley for each other for years. Goodwin recalls meeting Riley at auditions for Glee when she was 17 years old and it was clear that Riley had secured the part of Mercedes Jones in what would become the hit tv show. But it didn’t occur to her how much they looked alike until they were both on television at the same time, when Goodwin was playing the role of Niecy Patterson in Being Mary Jane.

“When people started getting us mixed up I was like, ‘Oh this is my industry twin.’ Goodwin told ESSENCE. “I think everybody has one. Everybody’s going to get us mixed up for the rest of my life.”

“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.”

Given their similarities, the two were drawn to the prospect of appearing on screen together.

“The opportunity to work with Amber was long overdue but perfect timing at the same time,” Goodwin said. “Also, two Black, plus-size women in a psychological thriller is a dope concept to me.” 

Riley jumped at the opportunity to play a villain. “I’m generally offered best friend roles,” Riley said. “I never got to play the villain. Sometimes it was really weird. You had to be super vulnerable and unleash things that you would normally keep inside and then…

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