Dolly Parton sits down with 10 News

By Rachel Lucas - Weekend Anchor / Reporter

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. - Perhaps one of the most recognizable faces and voices in entertainment, more than just a country music icon, Dolly Parton is a Hollywood legend.

From small beginnings to worldwide fame, she's the face of the American dream.

10 News spoke to Parton 47 years ago when her career was just getting started on "The Porter Wagoner Show," which aired on WSLS 10.

"I want to thank Porter Wagoner,” Parton said. “I want to thank Channel 10," Wagoner told then-10 News reporter Clay Peters.

A lot's happened since then, but the love for her in our region has only grown. 

“I love Southwest Virginia,” Parton told 10 News.

We thought it was time again for an interview. She agreed to meet us for a sit-down conversation.

While Dollywood continues to be a favorite theme park destination for families in the region because of new attractions each season, Parton continues to make park appearances and has several exciting projects coming up.

"It's always fun to see how people take to the new additions that we've put in that year. It's just a wonderful feeling to think that I'm part of something this special," Parton said.

Now the largest employer in Sevier County, Tennessee, Parton's plans keep getting bigger.

"We're going to give Disney a run for their money," Parton said during a performance at Dollywood.

When asked what her secret to success is, she said it's about continuing to have more dreams.

"I do so many things that one thing will spring off to another. I often say I dream myself into a corner," Parton said.

At 72 years old, Parton said there's no sign of stopping anytime soon.

"All my dreams came true. And everyday I have new dreams. I have to make room for new dreams that are kind of spun off for the bigger dream that I had, but that's good with me because I know I'm older now but I don't feel it," Parton said.

One of those dreams includes her next project that is sure to please her movie fans. After four decades Parton said she is planning a sequel to "9 to 5."

"We are doing '9 to 5' again after almost 40 years," Parton said

The original film grossed over $103.9 million dollars and is the 20th highest-grossing comedy film of all time. Parton gave us a sneak peak of what fans can expect from the sequel.

"It's the same theme. It's going to be a comedy, it's like three new girls in the movie that are kind of searching us out, the old girls that used to be consolidated company that we were with in the movie. So they find a way to come and get our advice, our wisdom and we help them with some things. So I imagine there will be three new stars with big names," Parton said.

She's also writing music for another move featuring Jennifer Anniston called "Dumplin", based on the New York Times best seller.

In addition to her new projects coming up, she also just achieved a major milestone with the "Imagination Library," her non-profit that mails free books to children from birth to age 5 who qualify for the program.

Her book "Coat of Many Colors" was just inducted to the Library of Congress in commemoration of her 100-millionth book given away.

The program serves children around the world, including in Virignia. Martinsville and Henry County is the largest subscriber, with 1800 registered children in the program.

Students in Martinsville signed a hard copy book titled "Will you fill my bucket" with thank you notes to Parton. 10 News delivered the book to Parton during our interview.

Parton graciously accepted the gift, and signed a copy of "Coat of Many Colors" that 10 News delivered back to the classroom.

The United Way in Martinsville Henry County works to keep the program funded locally in an area they say is considered a "book desert." It costs $27 to sponsor a child per year.

To sponsor a child contact the United Way.

Copyright 2018 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.