Dolly Parton builds on film successes with ‘Dumplin’’
LOS ANGELES — Dolly Parton says she never really aspired to be “The Girl in the Movies,” the title of her Golden Globe-nominated song from the new dramedy “Dumplin’.”
Co-written with hit machine Linda Perry, the song expresses the rebellious, plussized title character’s secret longing to fit in, to have happy Hollywood endings — just like “the girl in the movies.”
While Parton said she could relate to many elements of the song’s lyrics, “I never had a dream of being on the screen. I figured I’d grow into that, and I did. But my music was most important.”
Parton was a long-established country superstar and had crossed over to the pop charts with the 1977 smash “Here You Come Again” when Hollywood called.
“I had been approached about acting in some things, but I wasn’t quite ready,” she recalled. “Then Jane (Fonda) came to me and said that they want to do this movie with me and Lily (Tomlin), and I thought, ‘Well, this is the perfect time, if I’m ever going to do it, because if it was a hit, we could all take credit. But if it was a flop, I could blame it on them,’” Parton explained, with a laugh.
The film, the searing workplace comedy “9 to 5,” became the No. 2 box-office film released in 1980 behind only “The Empire Strikes Back,” according to Box Office Mojo. “9 to 5” also inspired Parton’s only solo pop-chart topper, a TV series and a Broadway musical. The title song earned Parton an Oscar nomination and Parton’s new compositions for the stage musical were honored with a Tony nomination.