Dolly Parton Reveals Who She Would Want to Play Porter Wagoner in Biopic

by Allison Hambrick

Country music superstar Dolly Parton opened up about her ideal casting choice for her former partner Porter Wagoner in her biopic.

Parton and Wagoner had an iconic partnership in the late ’60s and early ’70s. She got her major break starring alongside the musician on The Porter Wagoner Show in 1967. During that era, the two became largely known as a duo. However, in 1974, Parton realized her ambitions outgrew Wagoner’s. She penned the gorgeous “I Will Always Love You” about the end of their shared musical career.

“We were known for, you know, for our disagreements,” Parton said. “But he gave me a big hand up and I always appreciated that. But I [also] had always wanted to be my own star. And I said that at the start. I didn’t want to be just a girl singer in somebody else’s group.” 

Sadly, Wagoner passed away in 2007 after a battle with lung cancer. Despite their professional breakup, Parton was there alongside his family around the time of his death. She did always love him.

Surprisingly, Parton’s top pick for Wagoner is none other than Jim Carrey. While he is largely known for his comedic roles, Carrey has taken on a number of serious roles in the past. These include The Truman Show,   Man on the Moon, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Additionally, Carrey has some talent in the musical area, though its often showcased in a more comedic light. For example, he famously performed Desi Arnaz’s “Cuban Pete” in The Mask, but you’d hardly call it a serious musical number. Even so, he clearly has the depth and talent to pull off such a vital role in Parton’s story.

Dolly Parton Discusses Potential Biopic

Originally, Parton considered making her life story into a Broadway show. However, the pandemic caused her to reevaluate what she wanted to achieve.

“We were talking about doing my Broadway musical, and we were really, really far out ahead of that, and then the COVID hit and that changed my mind about a whole lot of things,” Parton said. “I do intend someday to be on Broadway, but I’m thinking now that I might do my life story as a feature. Maybe possibly even a musical feature. So we’re in talks about that.”

Parton also discussed who she’d want to play her if the film is a musical: Broadway icon Kristin Chenoweth.

“She’s just absolutely fantastic,” said Parton. “Years and years ago, when I was going to do the Broadway musical-I never can get it to how I want it, but I’m still working on it. But I thought she’d be an ideal person to do that.”

Granted, she pointed out that since her career spans so many decades, multiple actresses may have to fill the role.

“But we’re all getting older now, so if we tell the parts…we may be able to have different Dollys,” she added. “We’d probably have to have-as long as my career has been-like a little Dolly, and a middle Dolly, and then the older one. And she’d still be great for that.”