Alyvia Alyn Lind discovers what it was like to be Dolly Parton growing up in the Smoky Mountains
Alyvia Alyn Lind portrays Little Dolly in NBC’s new movie, “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors.” The young star talks about wearing the famous coat, the message of the song and getting to sing with Dolly.
Q. As you started to develop your character, what things about Dolly stood out or perhaps surprised you?
A. It surprised me how sassy Dolly was. I didn’t realize at first [how] alike Dolly and I were. We are both really emotional and nothing stands in our way. I liked Dolly more and more as I got to know the character better.
Q. The Parton family is known for their tight-knit bonds. While filming, did the cast develop similar family-like relationships?
A. The cast got so close, so quickly! When I first met Hannah [Nordberg], the girl playing Dolly’s best friend in the movie, we had an instant connection! We were BFF’s on the very first day. And Jennifer and Ricky felt like my real parents. It was an amazing family – I loved everyone.
Q. Considering everything you have done in your career, where does this role rank in your list of achievements?
A. I would have to say that playing Dolly is the highlight of my career. I’ve worked with amazing actors – Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig – and I’m so lucky. But this role has been the one I connect to the most. I really did not want to say goodbye to Little Dolly.
Q. After the first movie poster was released, the world got to see you in the Coat. What was it like for you when you first put that coat on, knowing what it symbolizes?
A. I loved the coat when I saw it for the first time. I had no idea how beautiful it would be – and I felt so proud wearing it. It symbolizes accepting people for who they are, and it patches together little bits and pieces of Dolly’s life – it also shows how much love Dolly’s mom had for her and her family. I felt so much responsibility putting it on because I know how much it means to Dolly.
Q. The song, “Coat of Many Colors” first debuted in 1971, 44 years ago, yet it still has a powerful message for people today. Why do you think people relate so well to this story?
A. Even though the song was written so long ago, it still shows how important it is to be nice to everyone, not to bully or judge, and that all different types of people can get along and love each other. The song still means so much today.
Q. Other than “Coat of Many Colors” do you have a favorite Dolly song and if so what is it?
A. I love “9 to 5” – actually, that has always been one of my favorite movies. My mom loves showing me movies from the 70’s and 80’s – that one always stood out to me. That is one of the reasons I was so excited to play Dolly.
Q. What was your favorite moment of making the film or your favorite takeaway?
A. My favorite part of being in the movie was getting to sing a duet with Dolly. I still can’t believe that this has happened to me and feel so honored that I get to sing with such a legend.
See more cast interviews and tune in Thursday, December 10 at 9/8c on NBC to watch Alyvia Alyn Lind as Dolly Parton in “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors.”
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