As mentioned in the previous post about Dolly Parton, Dumplin’ will be released on Netflix on Friday and since the movie is produced by and stars Jennifer Aniston, with music from Dolly Parton, these two women are doing much of the promotional work, leveraging their profiles to make sure the film is seen and talked about and, hopefully, nominated for some Oscars, or at least one Oscar, for Dolly’s songwriting. 

Jen hasn’t yet shown up on any talk shows, but she did talk to The Sunday Telegraph about her role and it sounds like her performance was inspired by her relationship with her mother, Nancy, who died in 2016. It’s well known that Jen and Nancy had a difficult relationship, and they were estranged on and off over the years. Here’s how she channeled that into Dumplin’, playing the title character’s beauty pageant mom – via PEOPLE:

When the reporter asked Aniston if her relationship and the one in Dumplin’ are alike, Aniston reportedly replied, “Where do we start?”
“One of the reasons I really loved the mother-daughter aspect of it was because it was very similar in a way to what my mother, and our relationship, was,” Aniston said, according to the publication.

“She was a model and she was all about presentation and what she looked like and what I looked like,” Aniston continued. “I did not come out the model child she’d hoped for and it was something that really resonated with me, this little girl just wanting to be seen and wanting to be loved by a mum who was too occupied with things that didn’t quite matter.”

Aniston is proud of the movie’s message. “This movie is so special because it is about stripping away those preconceived notions of beauty, trying to become individuals and not feeling that we have to live up to some unrealistic ideal that society is feeding up to us,” she explained.
“My idea of beauty is, is what makes you feel beautiful and what makes me feel beautiful is the people around me, the life that I have,” Aniston noted. “And maybe a good hair day.”

This reminds me, in a way, of Meghan Markle and some of the sh-t people were talking – are still talking – about her and her dad. How could she cut off her dad? He’s family! It’s easy to say this if you have solid relationships with your parents and hard to relate to when you’ve never been through parental betrayal. But it happens – some people aren’t so fortunate, sometimes parents are cruel, sometimes it’s better to not be around them, to not have them in your life. And this has been Jennifer Aniston’s experience with her mother, which she’s now bringing to this role, clearly with some insight. And maybe wishful thinking. As we discussed on Show Your Work a couple of weeks ago, I was already very much looking forward to her performance, both the comedic elements and, as Duana pointed out, the “unlikeable” attributes of the character. Now there’s another layer.