Love is in the air for Riley Dandy.
The actress, who graduated from Yucaipa High School in 2011, is both recently engaged and stars in a new romantic comedy that arrives on Netflix Thursday, August 25.
“The trailer is really fun,” Dandy said. “It’s the first feature I’ve been the lead.”
Dandy, who started acting as a child at the old Noble Hearts Theater in Yucaipa, stars in “That’s Amor,” with Isaac Gonzalez Rossi.
She plays Sofia, whose job and relationship implode on the same day – her 30th birthdaye birthday. With the help of her mother, she starts over and “meets a dashing Spanish chef, who might just be her missing ingredient,” the Netflix trailer reads.
“I loved the script because the main character was literally me,” Dandy said of what she loves most about “C’est Amor.”
“Most of the time when I read a script, I’m thrilled to find a version of myself in that character,” she said. “While Sofia, the main character of ‘That’s Amor,’ while I was reading it, pretty much everything she says is something I would say.”
“She’s very goofy and has a dry sense of humor,” she said, mocking herself. “That’s me to a T.”
Dandy, who has appeared in several films and numerous commercials, landed the role of Sofia after missing out on a few roles with the production company behind “That’s Amor.”
“I was getting really close to the projects they were working on, and then they were like, ‘Oh no, we’re going to go with somebody else. I was a bit discouraged,” she said. “Then they contacted me and wanted me to audition for this movie, which is ‘That’s Amor’. I was like I probably wasn’t going to get it, but…it gave me something thing to do during quarantine.
She was wrong. This very important call has arrived.
“The producer called himself and said, ‘Hey, you’re our Sofia. Congratulations,'” Dandy said. It was just a lot of work accumulated up to this point which felt really good after not working for a while.
“That’s Amor” is just the beginning of Dandy’s recent work. She also has three other projects slated for release this year. The indie film “Rooted,” a horror flick that’s currently making the rounds at the film festival, another horror flick hitting theaters in December, and a Christmas movie for HBO Max, also out in December.
“It’s weird, I’ve been working the most of my life during the pandemic,” said Dandy, who appeared in “A California Christmas: City Lights,” also on Netflix in 2021, the 2018 movie “City of Gold and the 2018 Snapchat original “Kappa Crypto” series.
“It’s been a really exciting year,” she said. “With… ‘That’s Amor,’ it’s kind of the first rug unfolding for what the rest of the year has in store for us.”
Maybe the year will even include a wedding. Dandy recently got engaged to fellow actor Deniz Akdeniz, of HBO Max’s “Flight Attendant.” She says no date has been set, so who knows.
Whatever the rest of the year, Dandy hopes “That’s Amor” gets plenty of views on Netflix. And she hopes to be able to count on the support of her hometown, just as she has received for her other projects.
“To be honest, Yucaipa’s response was a bit overwhelming,” she said of her latest film, “A California Christmas: City Lights.” “Hometown friends, teachers and co-workers posted messages and showed their support and enthusiasm for this.”
She recently posted the trailer for “C’est Amor” on her Instagram account and after just one day, it had around 24,000 views.
“I think the majority of the comments have been from people in Yucaipa, which is really nice,” Dandy said.
If the audience for “C’est Amor” is strong, Dandy hopes it could turn into something more.
“Hopefully we can get everyone to watch it, because if it does well, maybe we can do a sequel,” she said.
Dandy is also considering a Zoom watch party or a live Instagram Q&A after the release of “That’s Amor.” She will announce the details if this happens.
For now, however, the focus is on “It’s Amor” and everyone watching.
“I recommend watching with a sangria in hand — and some food,” she laughed.