Dolly Parton felt incredible pressure when composing original music for the Netflix hit film "Dumplin'," but she drew on two parts of her enormous, diverse fanbase, as well as the movie itself, for inspiration.
"I wanted to see the movie first. We went to see the movie because I wanted to get all the feels, the attitude, and the personalities because I'm a feel person," Parton, 72, told Deadline. "It's not that I had to make everything exact, but I wanted to make sure that I covered all the emotions and all the things in the movie. So the writing came real easy because I was inspired."
She explained, "In the movie the girl wanted to be beautiful, she wanted to be glamorous, she's thinking of all of that. I thought it was sweet, and I could just picture her sitting in the theater by herself, looking at the picture thinking, 'One of these days, maybe I could look like that, or I could be that,' and dreaming … dreaming on like in the picture of life."
One of Parton's favorite parts of "Dumplin'" was a scene with drag queens, who she said she relates to and admires on multiple levels.
"I have a huge gay following," she said, "and the drag queens have always loved me because they're flamboyant and so am I, and it kind of gives them a little freedom, and they've always loved to dress like me because they can kind of over-exaggerate it. So I'm pleased and touched by that. I think it's a form of flattery, and I'm excited about it."
In the book and movie "Dumplin,'" the titular character is a huge fan of Parton, which the singer says was a honor, but also intimidating.
"When the book first came out, I was really touched by it, and I was surprised. And then when they made it into a movie, I thought, 'I'd be careful. I'll get in it and it'll look like I’m on some ego trip or something.' But they asked me to write their music, so I was happy to do that …to let them use it, because that is very touching to me to feel like I've been an inspiration even to the little girl that wrote the book, and then to play it up like that, it’s nice. Hopefully, I live up to it."
As far as what's next for the country legend, Parton says she's looking forward to the "9 to 5" sequel as well as a possible biopic akin to Loretta Lynn's "Coal Miner's Daughter." One thing she won't do? Slow down anytime soon.
"I'm thinking about doing 'My Life in Many Colors,' starting with when I used to go back and forth as a young kid … going back and forth to Nashville, moving to Nashville, and all the days leading up to [stardom]," she said. "You can’t ever cover in one movie all the day-to-day stuff. And I have so many stories about my life, you can only imagine, of just my life, and my life in show business as a country kid trying to make it, and my days in Nashville, and all this stuff. So I think there's a lot of good stuff in that. I'm not going to run out of stuff to do. I'm going to have a job as long as I live, which I hope's a long time."