She told us. Dolly Parton told us she wants an Oscar nomination and she told us she would be “politickin’” for one and here she is, on the cover of the Thanksgiving issue of PEOPLE Magazine talking about her marriage, about growing up poor, about not having children, and about having dinner with Jennifer Aniston. While almost everyone else on the Oscar hustle is trying to be low-key about their ambitions (what’s up, Bradley Cooper?), Dolly’s putting it out there, no pretense. She is coming for that Oscar nomination and… well… do you want to count her out?  

There are few people more popular in show business than Dolly Parton. Dolly Parton has written original music for Dumplin’ on Netflix. Netflix is not the Oscar Academy’s favourite. But are the Academy voters going to be able to resist checking off the box beside Dolly’s name on that ballot? They might check off that box without having heard the music just on the strength of her name – Oscar voters do this all the time, it’s a popularity contest! And Oscar voters, as we know, like when people play their game. Dolly is playing the game, textbook. She’s offering details about her personal life, she’s talking about why we never see her with her husband, she’s reminding us that through it all, she really hasn’t changed, she has been who she’s been for all these years, both of her time and ahead of her time, the most constant of entertainers. She’ll be a constant during this entire award season too as she will receive the 2019 MusicCares Person of the Year Award by the Recording Academy during Grammy week in February which happens to be just a few days before the final round of voting happens for the Oscars. The timing is certainly on her side. 

Dolly, so far, has been leading Team Dumplin’. It’s a smart move, making her the face of the movie during early promotion. Because then it’s going to feel like a bonus when she and Jennifer Aniston combine forces. Here Dolly tells PEOPLE about being invited to Jen’s for dinner when they first started talking about working together: 


That’s Dolly F-cking Parton, starstruck over dinner at Jennifer Aniston’s and giving Lady Gaga a serious run for her money.