Loretta Lynn’s triumphant biography was made into an Oscar-winning film in 1980, and now Coal Miner’s Daughter is making its way to Broadway. As for the lead role, who better to shoulder the rags-to-riches role of the legendary blue-collar country singer than America’s favorite indoor girl, Zooey Deschanel?
Lynn announced the casting herself last night — like she did with Sissy Spacek back in 1979, who starred in and won an Oscar for her performance in the original film — by surprising attendees at her Ryman Auditorium show in Nashville and bringing Deschanel out for a duet performance of “Coal Miner’s Daughter” (via the Hollywood Reporter). “I never imagined I’d see Coal Miner’s Daughter on a movie screen, and now I can’t believe it’s going to be on a stage for people to see,” Lynn said. “I’m going to be right there in the front row. And I know Zooey is going to be great — she sings and writes her own songs just like I do, and we even have the same color eyes!” They even have the same color eyes.
Deschanel responded, “Loretta Lynn and her music have been inspirations for me for as long as I can remember. She is a true legend and to be chosen to play such an iconic woman is a dream come true.” Hopefully this production doesn’t go the way of her last “true legend” performance, that Janis Joplin production that never came to fruition (according to its IMDb page, The Gospel According to Janis is still “in development”).
Though the stage adaptation has yet to announce a creative team or workshop dates, it has locked in its producers, Fox Theatricals and Scott Sanders Productions, who were responsible for hits like Evita, Thoroughly Modern Millie and Legally Blonde, which means it’s probably in line for a few Tonys already. As for Deschanel, she’s got some time to prepare, which is good, because there are a lot of scarier, less-than-adorkable things about Lynn’s life than rain in Coal Miner’s Daughter, and it’s pretty much guaranteed she’ll have to wear shoes for them.