Farrah Mackenzie As Stella Parton - Interview

December 3, 2015
Farrah Mackenzie as Stella Parton

10-year-old Farrah Mackenzie plays Stella Parton in "Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors" airing on NBC on Dec. 10.

Farrah raved about the fun, off-set activities planned for the stars. However, on-set her professionalism shined.

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Q. As you started to develop your character, what things about Stella Parton stood out or perhaps surprised you?

A. I didn’t really develop until after I met Stella, but I still developed. It's really nice to get stories from actual Partons. So, this one day I was in a scene, I was just doodling in my school book with my right hand, and the day after that the actual Stella, she told my dad that she's actually left-handed. So in the school scene, I started writing with my left hand. It wasn’t that nice, but I still accomplished it.

Q. The Parton family is known for their tight-knit bonds. While filming, did the cast develop similar family-like relationships?

A. Oh, yeah yeah yeah we did! We did so much! First day I got a very warm welcoming from all my cast members. We actually did PE outside. We ran around with all the characters like [Alyvia] who played Dolly and all the other great people. We actually did CrossFit; me and Hannah [Nordberg]. Hannah played Judy.

[Carson Meyer] taught me how to crochet and I do that a lot now. We always go in the pool, we never did a day without pool. When the whole cast was in the pool we had water gun fights. And sometimes I did fight with Blane, [Crockarell] who played Bobby, but we got over it. We had movie night every other night, and that was really fun. We went on dinners a lot, and I had a lot of sleepovers with the cast. We went on field trips such as Stone Mountain, we went to World of Coke, it was really fun. I also went to a CrossFit gym with Hannah, so that was really fun. We made a really tight bond.

Q. Considering everything you have done in your career, where does this role rank in your list of achievements?

A. Well, I’d probably say number two. "Nanny Cam," a movie that I did that’s on Amazon and Lifetime, I had a slightly bigger role in that. But this movie could also become number one, because it is on NBC. It’s a Christmas movie, and it could also be playing every year for the rest of my life. And it’s also Dolly Parton!

Q. The song "Coat of Many Colors" first debuted in 1971, yet it still has a powerful message for people today. Why do you think people relate so well to this story?

A. Well, the song really tells that you can be rich in many ways, such as love and generosity and that just tells people a lot of things. So you don’t just need to be rich in money, you can be rich in many ways.

Q. Other than "Coat of Many Colors" do you have a favorite Dolly song?

A. My favorite Dolly song is "9 to 5" definitely. I really relate to that song, because every morning I wake up and yawn and stretch and try as hard as I can to get alive. [Singing] I wake up stumble to the kitchen, pour myself a cup of ambition, yawn and stretch and try as hard as I can to get alive!

Q. What was your favorite moment of making the film or your favorite takeaway?

A. I have so many. First of all, meeting the person I play, Stella; Carson and Hannah teaching me how to crochet; movie nights, seriously those were really fun. I liked doing CrossFit and PE with all of my friends. And in the makeup and hair trailer, I really loved getting those bouncy curls in my hair but, of course, they fell out in the humidity.

See more cast interviews and tune in Thursday, December 10 at 9/8c on NBC to watch Farrah Mackenzie as Stella Parton in "Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors."

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