Dolly Parton flipped the switch Saturday- turning on 5 million lights in her theme park's new Christmas Glacier Ridge attraction.
Before the celebration, WBIR 10News and Live at Five at Four anchor Beth Haynes had a chance to sit down with Dolly one-on-one to talk about her many recent successes.
Here's the highlights from the interview Friday.
Beth: "So Christmas is coming. I know it’s one of your favorite times of the year, and you’re pulling out all the stops this year at Dollywood."
Dolly: "We are. We always have a great Christmas as you know. We always have a lot of people that come and this year, we’ve got glacier ridge, it’s our new area, whole expansion that we’ve done. It’s the biggest most expensive thing we’ve done since we started the park, but we’ve got all these wonderful things for families and kids, all these millions of lights. We just hope they go away feeling happy and good and in the Christmas spirit."
Beth: "You’ve always had a goal to grow Dollywood - this new expansion coming on property, it is impressive."
Dolly: "We’ve got six new acres for people to run around on, to have fun, all sorts of rides, foods and games, all things for the kids to enjoy. We’re really proud of Wildwood Grove and Glacier Ridge- that’s our big deal this year."
Beth: "I know Dreammore Resort is such a success, any thoughts of another resort on property?"
Dolly: "Well absolutely, yes. In fact, we’re about to start on a new one. We’ll be making some announcements pretty soon. Our resort has just done so well, the Dreammore... it’s booked all the time and the food is great, and we get so many great reports, so we felt like we're gonna have to expand. And who knows, we may have them all the park and we may even go outside the park. It’s doing so well, you never know. We’re growing, we’re dreamin’!"
Beth: "I want to talk about Netflix. you’ve got two huge projects. lets start with Dumplin' -- Jennifer Anniston. And you’re releasing the new soundtrack. I heard the song “Here I am” with Sia. It’s incredible. How special is that project to you and why is it so meaningful?"
Dolly: "Dumplin' was a story Jennifer Anniston took from a book, a New York Times best selling book that was out a few years ago about a little oversized girl. The story is that she loved DP's music - that’d be me and that I’d inspired her. So they asked me if I’d be willing to license my music to the movie and if I’d be willing to write some new things, and I said yeah, I’d be honored because I couldn't be in it. I was flattered that someone had written the book about me and wanted me to do the music."
"We wrote 6 new songs for this soundtrack album, and so every song is not in it’s entirety in the movie, but they use a lot of my old original songs and they rerecorded some things like with Sia and Miranda Lambert, we did Dumb Blonde again."
"That’s gong to appear on Netflix, her movie the Dumplin' show with Jennifer on the 6th of December. We’re going out for the premiere. Then my album the Dumplin' soundtrack is releasing on the 30th of this month."
Beth: "You Also have an 8 movie series -- movies about your songs."
Dolly: "I just always wanted to have songs I'd written be done as movies because I tell so many stories in my songs, and Netflix loved the idea, so we’ve done 8. They’re probably going to drop them sometime next year worldwide. And if they do well, that’s something we can continue because I’ve got thousands of songs."
Beth: "Does Julianna Hough make a good Jolene?"
Dolly: "Oh, you will not believe her as Jolene. Julianne Hough was born to play Jolene and she feels like she was. She is absolutely beautiful, so incredible. Course Brad Paisley’s wife Kimberly actually plays Jolene’s best friend in the movie, so we’re having a big time down there in Atlanta playing Jolene. I actually play -- my name is Babe. I own the bar and grill where Jolene works and she’s a singer, so I get a chance to sing a little bit with her."
Beth: "Speaking of a fun time, give me an update on the '9 to 5' movie sequel."
Dolly: Well that’s actually we’re just about to read the first script, then they’ll make some changes and hopefully that’s something we get to do sometime next year. We’re hoping for that. After 40 years we’re doing a sequel '9 to 5'. Remember I used to make the jokes we better get after it or we’ll have to call it '95' instead of '9 to 5.' So the three of us -- Lily, Jane and I -- are going to be working with three young women, and they’ve kind of made a wonderful story about the old ladies that made so many changes years ago. And they come... the young people at that office come to find us, so out of that comes some humor and fun."
Beth: "I loved the interview with Reese Witherspoon and Shine on. She says she’d love to play you one day. Any thoughts about a movie about your life?"
Dolly: "I am going to do my story as a feature film at some point. She may do it unless I wait so long and she’s too old (laughs). Reese would be great and if I get to it soon, she’d be wonderful at it. I love her."