Dolly Parton concerned about wealth gap, talks new Scrooge-style Christmas movie

The Associated Press
Created: November 12, 2020 06:04 PM

Dolly Parton plays an angel trying to help Christine Baranski's Scrooge-like character in Netflix's upcoming "Christmas on the Square." Though filled with Parton's signature rhinestones, cheerful dance numbers and plenty of laughs, the film also highlights the problem with wealth disparities, a topic Parton is particularly passionate about.

"We don't pay enough attention to the people that don't have as much as others, and that's what this little movie was kind of about," said Parton, who grew up so poor in Tennessee she remembers her mother having to sew her a patchwork coat for winter.

"There are many people with just crumbs on their table," Parton said. "And I think that this has been a hard year for everybody. And hopefully there's going to be more crumbs, good crumbs, bigger crumbs, on the tables this year."

She said she hopes people get "some little crumbs of gratitude and love and kindness and stuff in this little movie.

"We really wanted to touch people with the dialogue and with lyrics in the songs ... where people could identify, certainly this year," she said.

In addition to Parton and Baranski, the film stars Jenifer Lewis ("Black-ish") and is directed by Debbie Allen ("Fame"). Another star of the film, Jeanine Mason of "Roswell," said being around such industry icons was powerful.

"So much of being on that set was watching these four women in particular be at the peak of their careers, having to sustain that for so long and making interesting choices all along and to watch the way they work, to watch them, how professional they are, like consummate pros, positive, really like optimistic, cast members," said the 29-year-old. "To just see all these kids, all these young kids who are dancing for us and just to see them always feel comfortable around them and just wanting to just impress them and raise the bar. It was so amazing, such a gift to get to watch them work. And I hope I can just bring that with me to everything I do."

Allen said she just hopes the film spreads a little joy during a dark time.

"We're, you know, in another world right now, we're all in another world and we're just excited to be bringing all of this joy to the world at this time," she said.

"Christmas on the Square" premieres on Netflix on Nov. 22.

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