Dolly Parton reveals who she’d like to play her in a biopic

Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton (Photo: Shutterstock)

Dolly Parton has been talking about the possibility of a big-screen movie about her life.

Parton, 76, has talked before about turning her life story into a Broadway musical. In a new interview, she says plans for that were derailed by the pandemic.

“We were talking about doing my Broadway musical and we were really, really far out ahead of that, and then COVID hit and that changed my mind about a whole lot of things,” she told the Mr Nashville Talks podcast.

“I do intend someday to be on Broadway, but I’m thinking now that I might do my life story as a feature,” she continued. “Maybe possibly even a musical feature, so we’re in talks about that.”

Given the success of Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman, which have earned millions of dollars for the surviving members of Queen and Elton John respectively, this is perhaps not surprising. Lots of veteran acts are wondering if they can dramatize their back catalog. JJ Abrams is working on a drama series about the early years of U2 for Netflix, and Madonna is also auditioning actresses to play her in a self-directed biopic.

Related: First look at Madonna, as played by Evan Rachel Wood, in new biopic

Parton then revealed she’d already considered one actress to play her.

“I love Kristin Chenoweth. She’s just absolutely fantastic,” Dolly said, revealing she’d been thinking of the 53-year-old actress for her Broadway project.

“I thought she’d be an ideal person to do that.”


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For any potential movie, Parton said it would probably be a case of hiring more than one actress.

“We’d probably have to have — as long as my career has been — like a little Dolly and a middle Dolly and then the older one.”

Parton also discussed other casting ideas, suggesting Jim Carrey would be perfect to play her old TV co-host and musical partner, Porter Wagoner.

Related: Fans don’t agree with Dolly Parton’s latest move, but there’s no denying she’s pure class

Earlier this week Parton revealed to EW that she would soon be returning to the screen herself. The singer co-authored her first novel—Run, Rose, Run—with best-selling writer James Patterson. She also released an accompanying country album with the same title.

The book, which hit the New York Times best-selling list the week after release, is looking likely to be turned into a movie.

Parton said she would like to feature in it.

“I haven’t been in a movie in a long time, so it’s about time,” she said. “This will be very special.”

Parton is unlikely to play the role of the aspiring singer-songwriter Annie Lee Keyes who heads to Nashville to follow her dreams. It’s more likely she’ll take on Ruthanna Ryan, the “Queen of Country” who takes Annie Lee under her wing. It will be Parton’s first movie role since 2012’s Joyful Noise.

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