The legendary icon chats with Andy Cohen about how she stays so positive, why she’s not sold on a Las Vegas residency and why we haven’t seen a biopic on her life yet.
Dolly Parton was full of surprises during a virtual appearance with Andy Cohen on “Watch What Happens Live” Thursday night, including a superstar collaboration fans have been clamoring about for years, as well as a huge reunion.
Andy was excited about one, but didn’t seem to have much interest in the other as he nearly talked over Dolly’s answer and simply moved on after she revealed the exciting news fans have been waiting six seasons for.
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Dolly had been a superstar musician for years when 1980 rolled around and a little film about working-class women starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly came out. “9 to 5” cemented her status as a crossover star and a pop culture icon.
She’s never looked back since, only cementing her status as one of the greatest performers of any eras, as well as a humanitarian and an absolute sweetheart of a human being. But that doesn’t mean she’s forgotten her roots, or the lifelong friends she’s made along the way.
Long-Awaited Reunion and Collaboration
For the past six seasons, Jane and Lily have worked together on their hilarious Netflix comedy “Grace and Frankie,” and for six seasons, fans have been asking, begging and pleading for Dolly to make at least a guest appearance.
Now, with the final season of the show currently in production — after a Covid delay — a fan asked through Andy if there were any plans to squeeze in that long-awaited appearance, and she happily said yes.
Andy almost moved on completely to the next question, but Dolly wasn’t done. “This is their last season, so we’re figuring out how they want to use me,” she assured her fans, even if Andy wasn’t interested. “But I am absolutely going to be on it this year.”
He was much more invested in another collaboration fans have been clamoring for years when he asked why she and Reba McEntire had never done a song together.
Much like her answer for why she and Whitney Houston never performed “I Will Always Love You” together, Dolly had no idea why it never happened.
But never say never, because she also dropped the bombshell that she and Reba had actually just recorded a song together, set to be released on Reba’s next album!
“We redid the song, ‘Does He Love You?,’ that she did years and years ago,” Dolly shared excited. “We did a new version of it. It turned out really, really good.”
“I’ve always wanted to sing with her and don’t know why we never did it until now, but we really sounded good together,” she added. “I think the fans are gonna like it.”
The singer also opened up about being “one of the few women in Hollywood that didn’t” make out with Warren Beatty, and shared what it’s like to hang with goddaughter Miley Cyrus while she’s getting high. Does Dolly get high with her?
#Free Britney, Vegas Residency and Positivity
Britney Spears famously walked away from a Las Vegas residency as part of her protest against her conservatorship. When Andy asked Dolly her thoughts on Britney’s ongoing battle for her freedom, Dolly said she tires to stay out of other people’s business, but has nothing but kindness and support for Britney.
“I think she is a wonderful artist and I think she is a wonderful girl and I only wish her the best,” she said.
Dolly also shared that she experienced something similar early in her career. “I understand all those crazy things,” she said. “I went through a lot of that myself through a big lawsuit in my early days with Porter Waggoner trying to get out on my own.”
“So I understand where she’s coming from and how she feels,” she continued. “So I hope that all turns out the way that it should.”
Dolly Parton’s iconic song — made even more famous by Whitney Houston — “I Will Always Love You” was actually written as a goodbye to Porter Waggoner when Dolly made the decision to leave his show and strike out on her own.
When asked by a fan what she’d done with all the money she made off of that song, she said she bought an office complex in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Nashville because in her mind, it was Whitney’s money so she should invest in Whitney’s people, who are her people, too.
Andy wondered why Dolly had never considered a Las Vegas residency of her own, and her answer was refreshingly honest. Acknowledging how much work goes into putting on one of those productions, Dolly said, “I don’t know that I’m able to work that hard for that long.”
“That’s a lot of work and I don’t know that I would want to build a show that big because I just go out and do what I do and mine’s not all that much flair and glamor,” she explained. “I just tell stories, do my songs.”
In other words, “I don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon.”
As for her world-famous optimism and positivity, well there are some things Dolly does think are worth the effort. “You kind of have to work at being positive like some people work at being miserable,” she told Andy.
“It’s an attitude,” she explained. “So I just try to find all the good things that I can and I try, if I see something wrong or something bad, I just try to make it into something better.”
She’s certainly done plenty of that, filling multiple lifetimes with all that she’s accomplished. And yet, when asked who should play her in a biopic of her life, Dolly said that she’s never been able to settle on an actress because she’s not ready to make that film as she’s still living her life.
If that’s the reason we’ve not gotten to enjoy her life story on the silver screen yet, may we not see it for many, many years to come!