Love is in the air for Riley Dandy.
The actress, who graduated from Yucaipa High School in 2011, is both recently engaged and starring in a new rom-com that arrives on Netflix on Thursday, Aug. 25.
“The trailer is really fun,” Dandy said. “This is the first full-length film that I have been a lead of.”
Dandy, who began acting as a child at the former Noble Hearts Theatre 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 birthday. With her mom’s help, she starts over and “meets a dashing Spanish chef, who might be her missing ingredient,” the Netflix trailer states.
“I loved the script because the main character was literally me,” Dandy said about what she likes best about “That’s Amor.”
“Most of the time when I read a script, I am excited to find a version of myself within this character,” she said. “Whereas Sofia, the main character of ‘That’s Amor,’ as I was reading it, pretty much everything she says is something I would say.”
“She is very clumsy and has a dry sense of humor,” she said, poking fun at herself. “That is me to a T.”
Dandy, who has appeared in several films and numerous commercials, got the part of Sofia after missing out on a few parts with the production company behind “That’s Amor.”
“I would get really close to projects that they were working on and then they would be like, ‘Oh no, we are going to go with someone else.’ I was a little bit discouraged,” she said.
“Then they reached out to me and wanted me to audition for this film, which is ‘That’s Amor.’ I was like probably I am not going to get it, but … it gave me something to do during quarantine.”
She was wrong. That all important call did arrive.
“The producer called himself and said, ‘Hey, you’re our Sofia. Congrats,’” Dandy said. “That was kind of fun. It was just a lot of work accumulating to this moment that 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 set to release this year.
The independent film “Rooted,” a horror movie currently making the film festival rounds, another horror film that will be released in theaters in December and a Christmas movie for HBO Max, also a December release.
“It’s weird, I have worked the most in my life during the pandemic,” said Dandy, who appeared in “A California Christmas: City Lights,” also on Netflix in 2021, the 2018 film “City of Gold” and the 2018 Snapchat original series “Kappa Crypto.”
“It has been a really exciting year,” she said. “With … ‘That’s Amor’ it is kind of the first carpet unrolling for what the rest of the year holds.”
Maybe the year will even include a wedding. Dandy recently became engaged to fellow actor Deniz Akdeniz, from HBO Max’s “Flight Attendant.” She says no date has been set, so who knows.
Whatever the rest of the year holds, Dandy hopes “That’s Amor” gets a lot of views on Netflix. And, she’s hoping she can count on some hometown support, just like she received for her other projects.
“It has been a bit overwhelming the response from Yucaipa to be honest,” she said about her most recent film “A California Christmas: City Lights.” “Hometown friends and teachers and colleagues have been posting and showing their support and excitement for it.”
She recently posted the trailer for “That’s Amor” on her Instagram account and after only one day had about 24,000 views.
“I think the majority of comments have been people from Yucaipa, which is really sweet,” Dandy said.
If viewership for “That’s Amor” is strong, Dandy is hoping it could turn into something more.
“Hopefully, we can get everyone to watch it, because if it does well, then we might get to do a sequel,” she said.
For now, though, the focus is on “That’s Amor” and getting everyone to watch.
“I do recommend watching with a sangria in hand — and some food, ” she said, laughing.