“I made a better whore than a secretary.” Dolly Parton sure didn’t mince words when reflecting upon her movie career. Parton revealed she never took parts she felt she couldn’t play. Instead, she stuck with roles she knew she could play which would be a big reason why she had the success she had on screen. That wasn’t all she had to say about her career on screen either.
In a recent interview on Tim McGraw’s Beyond The Influence Radio the 75-year-old legend discussed her other career outside of music. Parton explained she never took roles that were “far-fetched.” The country music legend explained, “Even when I did Steel Magnolias, I played a beautician…I understood that.” Understood it she did, Parton’s role as Truvy Jones was a huge success. With her big hair, intense makeup looks, and wild fashion, Parton could have been a beautician in another life and said that was the plan if music hadn’t worked out.
Until Parton was cast in 9 to 5 she hadn’t starred in a movie before. The part of Doralee Rhodes, a secretary from Texas plagued by fallacious rumors, makes a way for herself. Dolly, is a self-admitted flirt, but never a cheater. Parton seems as though she could relate to such a role. She performed very well in her starring debut. Although Parton did well in her first starring role, as her quote says, she performed even better in her second film. In 1982 The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas debuted.
The musical comedy earned Dolly a second Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress.
Dolly Parton on Screen
Parton’s quote, “I made a better whore than a secretary,” is most likely a reference to those first two movies in her career. 9 to 5 became a cultural fixture not only as a movie. Of course, everyone knows the song that accompanies the movie. However, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas could be more real in Parton’s mind.
As for the pressure of taking on the 9 to 5 role, Parton had come to peace with it. Dolly explained, “if it’s a big hit, then I can share in the glory of it. If it’s a failure, I can blame it all on them [Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin] and I’ll walk away free.” Parton makes a great point. However, the result ended up being a huge success. Parton went on to make a cameo in The Beverly Hillbillies. Then, a variety of shows from Reba to The Simpsons and Hannah Montana.
While Dolly is most well known for her recording success, there is no doubt she has some acting chops. You just need to cast her in the right role, anything but a secretary. Catch the full interview at 8 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. CT on Apple Music Country.