Dolly Parton says she only took on roles she knew she could play

By Ale Russian
July 21, 2021 03:59 PM
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Dolly Parton
Credit: David Becker/Getty

Dolly Parton isn't holding back when describing her movie career.

The legendary country singer, 75, reflects on her roles in an upcoming interview on fellow-crooner Tim McGraw's Beyond The Influence Radio show, saying that she always made sure to take parts she could believably see herself in.

"I only take parts that are pretty close to my own personality. I have never yet done one of those scenes that was that far-fetched," she says on the show. "Even when I did Steel Magnolias, I played a beautician. If I hadn't made it in the music business, I would have been a beautician. So I understood that."

That specifically came true with her role in the 1980 movie 9 to 5, her first time starring in a movie.

"When I read that part for 9 to 5, it was a girl from Texas and she was so much like me anyway," Parton explains. "So that was not that far-fetched, even the best little whorehouse in Texas. Although I made a better whore than I did a secretary, but it was still parts of my personality that I could relate to."

Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin
Credit: 20th Century Studios

Elsewhere in the interview, Parton tells McGraw why she finally decided to act when signing on for 9 to 5 with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin.

"I had been asked a lot of times to be in the movies and I didn't think I was quite ready yet," Parton explains. "I also thought, well, if the right thing came along, I might be willing to do it, because I was still building my music career at the time."

"Then when 9 to 5 came along, had Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, they were both so hot at the time and I thought, 'Well, if there's any time to start, this would be now because if it's a big hit, then I can share in the glory of it. If it's a failure, I can blame it all on them and I'll walk away free,' " Parton says.

Parton's full conversation with McGraw airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. CT / 5 p.m. PT on Apple Music Country.