"Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors" received a standing ovation from more than 13 million viewers. It drew a record-breaking audience and became the most watched television movie on NBC in years.
After the premiere, critics raved and fans flocked to social media sites sharing personal stories of how the film moved them. Now, NBC is giving everyone the chance to relive Dolly's heartwarming story in a special encore performance on Christmas Day.
Fans can also enter to win an amazing Smoky Mountain vacation in Dolly Parton's "Coat of Many Colors" Sweepstakes.
Carson, like her character, naturally found herself watching after the younger children on set and even shared her favorite hobby with a few, which became a big hit.
Q. As you started to develop your character, what things about Willadeene stood out or perhaps surprised you?
A. I bought all of her books, her cookbook and "Smoky Mountain Memories." I did a lot of reading about her. I loved that she kept the letters from her sisters and kind of held all those memories so dear to her. And then Stella [Parton] being on set told me great stories about her sister. One of my favorite's is that Willadeene would put perfume on the girls before she would go out which would always make them happy.
Q. The Parton family is known for their tight-knit bonds. While filming, did the cast develop similar family-like relationships?
A. Oh yeah, absolutely. I think working with all the kids it's hard not to feel like a family. We were all staying at one hotel, so we would all go to the pool after. I taught the girls how to knit, which was really fun, and crochet because I'm a big crocheter myself. It reminded me of being at summer camp. I loved everybody on set. It was a really, really special group.
Q. Considering everything you have done in your career, where does this role rank in your list of achievements?
A. It's the greatest thing that's ever happened to me! I've always been a huge Dolly fan my whole life. I've read all of her books, her movies, her songs. I just think she's a really, really special person and somebody that's worthy of all the success and fame that she's achieved. So for me to be able to work with Dolly is a dream come true.
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. This idea that you can't buy love and that nothing else really matters. It's all just family...the importance of family and community and faith and all the things that have nothing to do with material objects.
Q. Other than "Coat of Many Colors" do you have a favorite Dolly song?
A. Yes, "Heartbreak Express" has always been my favorite. I used to listen to it on constant replay in the car on my way to school when I was in high school. It's gotten me through so many heartaches and heartbreaks.
Q. What was your favorite moment of making the film or your favorite takeaway?
A. I don't know if I can pin it down to one moment. I had a hard time sleeping, because I was so excited for the next day of work. I loved every moment of it.
See more cast interviews and tune in Thursday, December 10 at 9/8c on NBC to watch Carson Meyer as Willadeene Parton in "Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors."
This December, Dolly Parton’s childhood memory that inspired a country music hit and later became a children's book, will premiere as the NBC movie, "Dolly Parton's Coat Of Many Colors." The stars of Dolly's new movie shared stories of how they bonded, much like the real Parton family, over movie nights, pool parties and field trips. To hear them talk about the experience, one might wonder how they managed to get the movie made. However, they did, and their excitement about the finished product is contagious.
Step behind the scenes as Ricky shares a touching note from Dolly, Farrah reveals her favorite Dolly song and see why playing "Little Dolly" is a career highlight for Alyvia Alyn.
Discover more about Dolly's new movie from the stars themselves. See full interviews and MORE!
Tune in December 10, at 9 p.m. EST to watch "Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors" airing on NBC.
Alyvia Alyn Lind, Jennifer Nettles, Ricky Schroder, Gerald McRaney
Dolly Parton, Sam Haskell, Pamela K. Long
Pamela K. Long
Warner Bros. Television, Magnolia Hill Entertainment, DP Productions