Dolly Parton on the 'Heartstrings' Behind Her New Series

The country singer’s new anthology series brings her beloved songs to life.

Posted in , Nov 21, 2019

Dolly Parton in 'Heartstrings'

The name Dolly Parton is synonymous with warmth, home and hope. And this fall, the country singer is bringing her signature charm to the small screen in Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings. Each of the eight-episodes series is titled and inspired by one of her songs, selected by Parton herself. Parton executive produced the show and appears in several episodes.

Parton was adamant about not simply choosing the songs she was most well known for. 

“I thought it was more important to choose songs that…had a completely different story,” Parton said at a press conference at her DreamMore Resort. “[Songs that] really did tug at your heartstrings.”

For Parton, bringing these songs to life is an extension of the writing she’s been doing since she was a child. Growing up in the Smoky Mountains, her family didn’t have electricity or television. Parton wrote songs with rich characters and stories to entertain herself and her community.

One of the most personal episodes for Parton is “These Old Bones,” starring Ginnifer Goodwin and Kathleen Turner, that touches on the idea of clairvoyance. When Parton was young, the character portrayed in the song gave her a prediction.

“She said I was anointed and [that] I was going to do great things,” Parton recalled. “And I asked Mom, I said, ‘What's that word mean, anointed?’ She said, ‘That just means God had his hand on it.’ And so I feel like He did.”

Parton said it was a surreal experience to act in several of the episodes. She appears in “JJ Sneed”, a western episode, and in “Jolene” alongside Julianne Hough, who plays the titular character.

“We just had the best time,” Parton said of Hough. “But I don't think anybody could've done a better job than Julianne playing that. So we were thrilled to have her.”

In the episode, Parton plays Jolene’s mentor. So what advice does she offer young people?

“It all goes back to the Golden Rule,” Parton said. “Know your morals and values and what you're willing to sacrifice.”

Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings is now available for streaming on Netflix.

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