"I learned from Dolly to never give up on a dream," Lind tells PEOPLE

By Danielle Anderson
Updated November 20, 2015 05:10 PM
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Credit: Jeff Lipsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Playing a young Dolly Parton in the upcoming TV movie Coat of Many Colors was an opportunity of a lifetime for the film’s young star, 8-year-old Alyvia Alyn Lind.

“I learned from Dolly to never give up on a dream,” Lind tells PEOPLE. “And because of what Dolly has accomplished when all she had in the beginning was love, I learned that with love anything is possible.”

In addition to imparting a major life lesson, the project, which follows Parton’s poverty-stricken upbringing in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, also came with another very big perk: the opportunity to meet the country icon.

“She told me, ‘I loved your little eyes,” says Lind of auditioning in front of Parton.

“My favorite movie ever is 9 to 5!” she adds. “The best thing about playing Dolly Parton is playing Dolly Parton! She’s a legend. Everyone knows Dolly.”

For more on Alyvia Alyn Lind, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

So is there anyone else Lind has her heart set on playing?

Drew Barrymore,” she says. “I love her attitude. She always has a smile on her face.”

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The film also stars Jennifer Nettles, Ricky Schroder and Gerald McRaney. Coat of Many Colors airs Dec. 10 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.