Dolly Parton has garnered a lot of laughs over the years with her often-told story about idolizing the town prostitute when she was growing up. (For her looks, not her profession.) And on Tuesday’s Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the country music treasure announced she will actually play the prostitute in her second made-for-TV movie biopic, Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love.
“When I was little, I patterned my look after the town trollop,” she told Fallon (who replied, “Me too!”). “I thought she was the most beautiful thing, because she had all this makeup, hair, tight clothes and everything I wanted. . . So I thought, why not play the painted lady?”
Parton went on to explain that she never got to know the “town trollop,” nor has she ever revealed her name, “because I don’t think her family knew she was a ho,” the singer reasoned, then joked, “I think I saw that on ‘Jerry Springer’!”
Depicting a true story from Parton’s childhood, Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love airs November 30th on NBC. It is the sequel to Coat of Many Colors, which aired last December to monster ratings — so high that NBC re-aired the movie. Fellow country star Jennifer Nettles will reprise her role as Parton’s mother in the second film, while Ricky Schroder returns to play her father. Parton is played by 9-year-old Alyvia Alyn Lind.
“This movie is about the time that mama didn’t have a wedding ring and we all saved up money to buy mama a ring for Christmas,” Parton told Rolling Stone Country earlier this summer. “And it’s about a blizzard that about done us in on the mountain years ago.”
Parton has a four-picture deal with NBC, with the next two being fictional, based on her legendary songs “Jolene” and “The Seeker.” She has bigger plans for the latter film, hoping it will become a full series.
“We’ll have a character, almost like a Christ-like type of character, but someone struggling like my song says, ‘I’m just a seeker, a poor sinful creature / There is no weaker than I am,'” she explains. “He has this gift, but he struggles with it and doesn’t completely understand it, but everywhere he goes he makes wonderful things happen. So it’s really a cross between Highway to Heaven and Touched by an Angel, but it’s a male. He’d be like a singer or writer traveling around. It will have a message and each week something wonderful will happen.”
Additionally, a Coat of Many Colors children’s book is set for release October 18th, with all proceeds going to Parton’s literacy program, Imagination Library.