Jennifer Nettles is already a success. Between her work with Sugarland and her solo music, the singer is already living the life of her dreams. But there is one piece of her dream that has not come true yet. Jennifer Nettles wants to act. Now she is getting that chance, thanks to Dolly Parton.
Jennifer Nettles has already had a piece of Broadway, as Roxie Hart in Chicago. That role was the culmination of a dream Nettles told Fox News’ Martha MacCullum about back in 2009.
MacCullum asked Nettles, “What do you want to do? What haven’t you done yet that you really wanna do?”
Nettles replied, “Honestly, I would love to do Broadway. I would love to do it. It is a dream. I wanna be Elphaba [from the musical Wicked]. Who doesn’t wanna be painted green? I think everybody’s got a little wicked witch in her. Every woman.”
But might that have been setting Jennifer Nettles up for something even bigger?
Dolly Parton’s upcoming NBC movie Coat Of Many Colors will feature Jennifer Nettles as Dolly Parton’s mother Avie Lee Parton, alongside Rick Schroder as Dolly’s dad, Robert Lee Parton. Dolly’s mom died in 2003, and her father in 2000, but their memory will be honored in the roles Nettles and Schroder play.
Young Dolly will be played by Alyvia Lind, who recently starred opposite Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig in their Lifetime project A Deadly Adoption. Lind was in several episodes of Revenge, in the film Blended with Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler, and in over 80 episodes of The Young and the Restless.
Rick Schroder is a known entity from Lonesome Dove, NYPD Blue, and his childhood series Silver Spoons. Thanks to that show and his young successes, Schroder will forever be known as Ricky Schroder, even on his IMDB page.
But Jennifer Nettles is an unknown, somewhat untested quantity in this mix. Her onstage work in Chicago is certainly a big credit. There was obviously an audition process, so she must have been seen as qualified and talented enough to pass muster.
So the cat is out of bag and I can finally say, "Yaaaaaaaaaaaay"! I have been dying to tell. I am so excited!! #CoatOfManyColors
— Jennifer Nettles (@JenniferNettles) August 11, 2015
Alyvia Lind had to pass audition, despite her extensive credits. When she was given the role as young Dolly Parton, the industry fawned over her.
Dolly Parton famously told Lind, “When you were doing your audition, I thought, ‘Oh my goodness, I wish I had been that pretty when I was little. I wish I had been that smart.’ But I really felt you.”
Jennifer Nettles recently parted ways with her record company, Mercury Nashville. The move came after only one solo album and in the middle of promotion of a single.
Nettles released a statement to Billboard about the move.
“I want to thank Universal Nashville for 11 wonderful years,” Nettles said. “This change is the first step on a path I’ve been wanting to take. I am so excited about the next part of my journey and I invite my fans to stay tuned.”
While Coat Of Many Colors is not a musical, the chance for Jennifer Nettles to cut her teeth in a project headed by one of the most successful women in Nashville may have well been worth stepping away from the music business.
— Jennifer Nettles (@JenniferNettles) August 15, 2015