Dolly Parton was inspired by gay and drag fans for Netflix hit Dumplin

Lydia Smith December 28, 2018
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Dolly Parton performs onstage at a luncheon for the Netflix Film Dumplin' at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Netflix)

Dolly Parton says she was inspired by her large gay fanbase and by drag queens when she composed the music for the Netflix hit film Dumplin.

The plot follows Willowdean – Dumplin – the plus-sized daughter of a former beauty queen, who signs up for her mother’s Miss Teen Bluebonnet pageant as a protest that escalates when other contestants follow her footsteps.

Speaking to Deadline, 72-year-old Parton said she went to go see the film before writing the original score.

“It’s not that I had to make everything exact, but I wanted to make sure that I covered all the emotions and all the things in the movie. So the writing came real easy because I was inspired.”

Parton said one of her favourite parts of the film was a scene featuring drag queens.

“I have a huge gay following and the drag queens have always loved me because they’re flamboyant and so am I, and it kind of gives them a little freedom, and they’ve always loved to dress like me because they can kind of over-exaggerate it.

Dolly Parton wrote the music for Dumplin (Getty)

“So I’m pleased and touched by that. I think it’s a form of flattery, and I’m excited about it.”

In the film, which was originally a book by author Julie Murphy, the main character is a fan of Parton.

Actress Danielle Macdonald plays Willowdean and Jennifer Aniston plays her mother.

“When the book first came out, I was really touched by it, and I was surprised. And then when they made it into a movie, I thought, ‘I’d be careful. I’ll get in it and it’ll look like I’m on some ego trip or something’.

“But they asked me to write their music, so I was happy to do that …to let them use it, because that is very touching to me to feel like I’ve been an inspiration even to the little girl that wrote the book, and then to play it up like that, it’s nice. Hopefully, I live up to it.”

Dolly Parton “would’ve been a drag queen”

Earlier this month, Parton said she would’ve been a drag queen if she’d been born a boy.

The music legend was asked in an ABC News interview: “Is it true that you once said that it’s a good thing you were born a girl, otherwise you would have been a drag queen?”

Parton responded: “Yes, it is true. Because I’m so over-exaggerated and I have so many fans in the gay community, and the drag queens.”

The US country artist has been a supporter of LGBT+ people for many years.

In 2012, she denied rumours that she was a lesbian, but said: “If I was gay, I would have come out of the closet just a-flying.”

More: Dolly Parton, dumplin', Film Reviews, Music, netflix

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