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Will This Legendary Actress Get to Play Dolly Parton?

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Few icons are more universally loved than Dolly Parton, and the country legend knows her rags-to-riches story is likely to get the full Hollywood treatment sooner or later.


Though Parton had previously planned on doing a Broadway musical about her life, "Covid hit and that changed my mind about a whole lot of things," she said in a recent interview on Mr. Nashville Talks. Now, she says, a feature film or musical is more likely. 


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Parton says that at this point, she'd probably need at least a few actresses for the role, though she's coy about who might get the coveted roles. But Parton has mentioned at least one big-name actress in the past who could have a leg up on the competition — and she's legendary in her own right.


"I love Kristin Chenoweth," Parton gushed in an interview with Marie Claire. "She's just absolutely fantastic." 


Parton says Chenoweth, a Tony Award winner best known for her lead role in "Wicked" as well as several movie and TV credits, including "Glee" and "The West Wing," would have been a natural for the Broadway production. "I thought she’d be an ideal person to do that. But we’re all getting older now, so if we tell the parts ... we may be able to have different Dollys. 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. And she’d still be great for that."


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Judging by the clip below of Chenoweth's best Dolly impression, the admiration is mutual. 



Parton and Chenoweth have collaborated before, releasing a duet of Parton's legendary song "I Will Always Love You" on Chenoweth's 2019 album, "For the Girls." 


"I was raised on country music and gospel music," Chenoweth told NPR in 2019. "There's something about Dolly that — well, for everybody, not just me — that I have connected with. And when I first met her many, many years ago, she said, you're me, and I'm like you, and you're like me."


Of course, if Chenoweth does land the role, prosthetics or other Hollywood magic might be in the cards.


"I'm definitely lacking a couple of things that we can't mention," she joked. 


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