Jennifer Aniston talks ‘Dumplin’,’ real-life mother drama and telling off a terrible 2018

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Jennifer Aniston really loves Dolly Parton. The actress stars in (and executive produces) the Netflix dramedy “Dumplin’,” about a girl who is a big Dolly Parton fan. Legendary entertainer Parton provided new songs for the soundtrack.
AP

Hollywood superstar Jennifer Aniston has gone full-on Dollywood playing a former beauty queen and single mom in the Netflix film “Dumplin”http://www.usatoday.com/” (streaming Friday).

Not only did country legend Dolly Parton agree to let producer Aniston use her classic songs and write six original numbers (including the Golden Globe-nominated “Girl in the Movies”), but the two became real-life girlfriends as well.

“I’m living out so many people’s fantasy,” says Aniston, 49, who has pulled through real-life drama this year after her high-profile, but amicable, divorce from husband Justin Theroux earlier this year. As she sits down with USA TODAY, she’s all bright smiles, especially after having Parton sign several album covers.

Question: Did I literally see you getting a Dolly Parton autograph?

Jennifer Aniston: Those are for my girlfriends. There’s a lot of Dolly worship out there. Not only have I been able to create something with her and sing with her, but I’ve even girlfriended with her. I’m humbled.

Q:You have a dog named Dolly?

Aniston: Yes, I do (proudly showing her iPhone wallpaper of a white shepherd). That’s her, she’s even blonde. When she was a teeny thing, she sat in my hand. I said, “You’re just a little doll. You’re a little Dolly Parton.” She’s beautiful. 

More: Jennifer Aniston responds to Dolly Parton’s threesome bombshell joke: ‘My mouth just dropped’

Also: Justin Theroux breaks his silence on ‘heartbreaking’ split from Jennifer Aniston

Q:Did Dolly the dog and Dolly Parton bond?

Aniston: It was so cute. Dolly the dog came up to her and sniffed her. And then Dolly went down to her. I have this sweet picture of them nose-to-nose.

Q:You’ve never done a beauty pageant. What would’ve been your talent?

Aniston: (Concentrates with eyes closed.) I don’t know. I can’t twirl a baton, can’t yodel, can’t tap dance. My talent would just be, well, nothing that would serve me in a beauty pageant. Unless you would let me do a monologue from a Neil Simon play.

Q: Rosie and her daughter (played by Danielle Macdonald) have a challenging relationship. How much did that go back to the relationship with your mother, Nancy Dow (who died in 2016)?

Aniston: “Dumplin’ ” kicked up stuff for me about my mom and our relationship. It was definitely push-pull. My mom wasn’t doing anything intentional to damage any self-esteem of mine, as we discussed in our older years together. She was doing what she thought best. She wasn’t raised with great parental support. She was a beautiful, stunning girl and that’s how she made a living, modeling. She was teaching me what she thought was important. Which was how to look good. That wasn’t necessarily where my interests lay.

Q:Were you able to tap into that raw emotion when Rosie cries over her daughter in “Dumplin”http://www.usatoday.com/”?

Aniston: I did. It was pretty easily accessed, let’s just say.

Q: That blue frock Rosie rocks in “Dumplin”http://www.usatoday.com/” was wild. Please explain.

Aniston: It’s based on an actual dress that Dolly wore. I felt pretty silly feeling wearing it, like a clown, in the best way. But it was perfect, showing Rosie throwing her control out the window and letting freedom come in.

Q: It’s the end of the year. Where’s your head at? And what are you looking forward to in 2019?

Aniston: First off, I cannot believe it’s already December. That’s outrageous. I’m excited for “Dumplin”http://www.usatoday.com/” to come out. And I’m excited for 2018 to move on. It was the year of the dog. I don’t know if there’s one person you can come into contact with who wasn’t like, ‘This year can go (gesture) itself.’ Know what I mean? A lot of people passing and a lot of endings that can only create room for new growth and new beginnings. That’s what I’m excited about.

Q: 2018 capped with California fires and angry politics.

Aniston: It’s biblical. We’re literally living in biblical times. But I feel like something has got to give.

More drama: Don’t worry, ‘Friends’ is still here for you: Sitcom is NOT leaving Netflix (yet)

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It was a “Friends” frenzy on social media after Netflix said the ’90s sitcom would leave the streaming service in January 2019.
WOCHIT

Q: And there was this world frenzy when it appeared Netflix was losing “Friends”…

Aniston: (Interrupting) I heard that! Apparently “Friends” was going to be taken off Netflix. Then it wasn’t. Was there really a frenzy about it? Or a “Friend”-sy?

Q: Yes, and nice one. With multiple Netflix projects, did you use your clout to save the day?

Aniston: I didn’t. It must’ve been the support and love of those ever-faithful “Friends” fans. 

Q: What a beautiful note to leave 2018 on.

Aniston: Yes, “Friends” isn’t dead. It’s alive and well.

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