Dolly Parton says she knows who she wants to play her in a biopic

How is it we haven’t been blessed with a Dolly Parton musical yet? Of all the people whose life should be a musical, it’s Dolly. Not only because of her incredible body of work, but her life reads like a Hollywood production already. She was born to a family of 12 kids in a one-room cabin. Her first guitar was homemade. She got her start as a child singing on the radio and was signed to a label before she was 20. Her whole history with Porter Wagoner and how (platonically) loyal she stayed to him up until his death. And that’s just the first half. Fortunately, it sounds like something is in the works to tell Dolly’s tale. She told Mr. Nashville Talks that they started discussing a musical before Covid broke out but the pandemic put the plans on hold. During the freeze, Dolly shifted gears and now thinks she might want to do a biopic instead. And she’s already picked who she wants to play her: Kristin Chenoweth.

Dolly Parton has long wanted to do a Broadway musical about her life, but the pandemic has her reconsidering that.

“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,” Parton said in a recent appearance on “Mr. Nashville Talks.”

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

The legendary singer has some thoughts about who could play her.

“I love Kristin Chenoweth,” Parton said. “She’s just absolutely fantastic.”

[From CNN]

Not only is Kristin great in her own right, but she would also be an amazing Dolly Parton. She’d be able to handle the score and pull off Dolly’s perkiness without coming off as vapid. Plus, let’s face it, if Dolly wants it, shouldn’t Dolly get it?

While I do believe La Dolly should get what she wants, I’m kind of bummed she’s moved away from a musical in favor of a feature. I feel like a production would be such a fun way to tell her story. I’m sure a movie about her life would be quite interesting, but she’s larger than life and I feel like the stage is the place for that. I’d already written the finale with Dolly sitting on a throne of hay, like the barrels out front her Dollywood amusement parks, looking down and smiling as all the singers who have covered her songs appear on stage performing them. Maybe Dolly just feels like she’s already got her musical with the 9 to 5 musical and wants to do something else. Although, I can’t imagine her husband Carl Dean wants his business in a biopic. He likes his privacy and she’s happy to give it to him. How can she write her story and exclude him? Or maybe I’m just making excuses so I can go see Kristin Chenoweth starring in Dolly Lights Up the Night!

Photo credit: Avalon Red and Instagram

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16 Responses to “Dolly Parton says she knows who she wants to play her in a biopic”

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  1. Bettyrose says:

    Great choice! Here’s my money!

    • C-Shell says:

      YESSSS! Also, Dolly’s voice/vocals are so iconic, I believe Kristin Chenowith (whose voice is phenomenal) could do her justice. Let’s do a feature AND a Broadway musical and have Chenowith do it all!

      • Twin Falls says:


      • KASalvy says:

        Kristin did a cover of Dolly’s “Little Sparrow” – listen to it. It’s fantastic

      • bettyrose says:

        It definitely needs to be a stage play, as well. The great part is that long after filming the biopic, she can continue to play Dolly on stage, where it’s easier to stretch age ranges. Does Kristin ever do touring productions any more? I saw her in a touring production of Wicked, but she wasn’t as big a star then.

      • LightPurple says:

        @Bettyrose, I don’t know if she does touring productions but she does perform in various places. She has performed with the Boston Pops numerous times. If the play did an off-Broadway tryout somewhere that’s slightly similar to a tour.

    • Nikki says:

      YOU BET! 🙂

      • Fortuona says:

        And one of Barbara (One Tree Hill) Alyn Woods’ daughters played her at an early age . The one who was in Y & R and Chucky .

    • WiththeAmerican says:

      Same! This is so uplifting to think about.

  2. Ariel says:

    I’m going to Dollywood for my 50th birthday in May. I am unreasonably excited about it.

    She is one of a kind.

    • Nikki says:

      OMG: I could do this too!! (Not for a 50th though; that’s long past). Great idea I’m going to copy; hope you have a wonderful time!

    • Jamie says:

      My parents took our whole family there for a vacation when I was like idk, around 13 or 14? Of course it sounded “soooo lame and for old people”

      It was one of the best vacations we have ever had! It was so much fun, my grandma came with us and my two aunts and their families came too. We were doing stuff every day that everyone in our family enjoyed, this was kids aged 16 years old to 10 years old.

      My grandma got us a bunch of Dolly T-shirt and those novelty cups that pointed out should NOT be made into smoking paraphernalia. She even asked us later in the year to show them to her to make sure. Ha!

  3. Pamspam says:

    Eh. I know I’m in the minority here but I’m just not a Chenowith fan so I can’t get excited about this. But I love Dolly so who am I to second guess her preference?

    • Rose says:

      I don’t like her singing or her speaking voice. Alas, I live near the town where she grew up so it’s all Kristen all the time. I think she’s a fine person, I just don’t like her as a performer but that’s enough to get you run out on a rail in Oklahoma.

  4. Amelia says:

    I’ve never thought before about who should play Dolly in a biopic, but Kristen Chenoweth would be perfect! I won’t be able to think of anyone else in the role now.

  5. Layla says:

    Not a Fan of Chenowiths acting. They’d need a really strong director to pull this off