‘Still Working 9 to 5’ Directors Explain Why Landing Dolly Parton Was a ‘Blessing and a Curse’

by Lauren Boisvert

“Still Working 9 to 5” is a documentary by filmmakers Camille Hardman and Gary Lane, where they explore how the original film, “9 to 5,” which starred Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin, and Jane Fonda, is still a powerhouse of subject and meaning today. It covered topics like fair wages, the wage gap between men and women, and sexual harassment in the workplace. Most things that, in 1980, nobody wanted to touch with a ten-foot pole.

The documentary got stars Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin–who all reunited on the season finale of “Grace & Frankie” in April–to return to talk about their roles in the film and the role the film itself has in popular culture. But, according to the co-directors, this was “a blessing and a curse.”

“It was a blessing because they said yes, and they were in it. It was a curse because everybody thought we had money when we were approaching other people for money,” Camille Hardman told MovieMaker. She recalled that people told them, “‘Oh, you’re going be okay — you’re gonna get other people funding this.’”

Because they had such big names attached to the documentary, Hardman and Lane ended up funding the project themselves. They just couldn’t get any funding for it. It seemed like they were too advantageous already, when that wasn’t completely the truth.

“‘We want to fund more disadvantaged documentaries,’” Hardman recalled. “Every group that we went to for funding we’re very much like, ‘No, this isn’t for us because it’s a big star film.’ So we ended up really funding this entire thing ourselves.”

Hardman, Gary Lane, and Lane’s brother Larry funded most of the film, with significant backing from Regina K. Scully at Artemis Rising. Though the film still hasn’t found a buyer or distributor–although it did debut at SXSW–it’s my hope that they will soon; I for one would love to watch Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin, and Jane Fonda reminisce on “9 to 5,” while also ripping into our current job climate, if they felt so inclined, of course.

Dolly Parton Recently Welcomed Fans to Nashville Superspeedway

This past weekend was the Nashville Superspeedway, and Dolly Parton welcomed NASCAR fans to the event with a video. In the video, she compared her love and dedication to being an entertainer with the passion it takes to be a NASCAR driver.

“I have a saying that my desires have always been greater than my fear,” she began. “And I remember the first time I performed in front of an audience. It was almost like electricity kinda shot through me. It was always my dream to be on stage and perform.”

She continued, “One of the things that kept driving me was getting to Nashville. You’ve got to get to Nashville, because any stage is a magical feeling. You know you’re standing on the stage where some of the greatest legends ever have stood.”

Although she wasn’t talking explicitly about racing, the sentiment was still there; it takes passion to be a racecar driver, and it takes passion to be a performer. Driving NASCAR is sort of like a performance, and you have to leave it all on the track, as they say.