After putting a lot of hard work into a movie, it’s always disappointing when it isn’t as successful as expected, but this isn’t entirely the case for Dolly Parton. The country musician opened up about how a movie she starred in helped her get her life on track despite how unsuccessful it was.
“Rhinestone” was released in 1984 and followed the unlikely friendship between a country singer named Jake Farris (Dolly Parton) and an obnoxious New York cabbie named Nick Martinelli (Sylvester Stallone). Although the musical comedy practically flopped in the box office, it birthed an unexpected friendship between the two main leads.
During a past interview in 1984, Parton opened up concerning how the movie and her relationship with Stallone helped her get through a particularly tough time. The country musician went through several health issues, and the project guided her through them.
Parton Went Through Physical And Mental Health Issues
After her breakout role in “9 to 5,” Parton went on to bag a lead role in “The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas.” This movie earned her a Golden Globe nomination and ushered in an excruciating period of her life.
The singer told Interview Magazine that she had a lot of health challenges while filming and at some point had surgery after almost collapsing on stage in 1982. “I’d never really been sick in my life until a couple of years ago, and then I was sick for 18 months to two years.”
“It was brought on by a lot of emotional problems that I was having. I had to make a lot of decisions with a lot of people I had been with for years and years, and we were not helping each other emotionally. We did great business together, but it was just very hard.”
Parton explained that what mainly made her sick was ‘nerves, tension, and a crazy amount of stress.’ Her condition worsened, and she started developing stomach problems like ulcers and intestinal problems.
Sylvester Stallone Helped Parton Through This Period
While battling with her health issues, Parton started filming “Rhinestone.” The movie didn’t get the reaction the producers would have preferred, but the country singer still looks back at the time fondly because of its impact on her.
According to Smooth Radio, Parton became fast friends with Stallone immediately after they met. “When I met him, I loved him instantly. I think we just struck up a wonderful, lasting friendship,” she said. The actress described their time on set as a “joy” and gushed about Stallone’s energy and personality.
In a 2003 interview with Rolling Stone, Parton spoke about going through the dark period of her life and how Stallone came as a relief. “Even though the movie didn’t do that well, that was one of my greatest projects. Because Stallone was so full of life and so crazy and so funny, and he made me laugh a lot, which was real healthy for me. That movie got me back on track.”
Parton And Stallone Had Fun Filming
Stallone wasn’t the only one who had an impact on his costar. In a 1984 Evening Magazine interview clip, the costars gushed about how it was like filming with each other. “I’ll never forget, the first time I came in the door, she was dressed all in black and had a meat cleaver,” the “Rocky” star said.
“If you look around, there is so much absurdity, there’s so much fun, that we try to pull it out. I mean, you are the most absurd thing I ever seen, and I am sure I am the most absurd you ever seen.”
The actor said that although he didn’t like the film’s end result, his best filming experience was with Parton in “Rhinestone.” The country singer felt the same and talked about how she could barely do her scenes because she kept laughing at things he said.
“He had me laughing; I couldn’t even do my scenes – they just left my laughing in because I was laughing in places where I wasn’t supposed to. I was supposed to be acting,” Patron admitted. “He absolutely tickles me to death. He’s a crazy person.”
“Rhinestone” was directed by Bob Clark and is famous for its lead characters and critical and commercial failure. After its release, the scriptwriter, Phil Alden Robinson, publicly removed himself from the film and wrote to critics to complain about changes made to his script.
The movie followed the life of a country singer named Jake Farris and a New York cab driver, Nick Martinelli. In a bid to leave an unfavorable contract, Farris made a bet with her club’s manager Freddie, to turn anyone into a country singer in just two weeks.
Freddie accepted the bet and staked the rest of her contract time on it, but the gag was that he would select the man. Unfortunately, the club manager picked Martinelli, who couldn’t sing a note and hated everything concerning country music.
The screenplay is allegedly based on “Rhinestone Cowboy” by George Bernard Shaw. The movie was nominated for eight Golden Raspberry Awards. It won Worst Actor (Stallone) and Worst Original Song (“Drinkenstein”). Regardless of its flop, the movie gave Parton two top ten country singles with “Tennessee Homesick Blues” and “God Won’t Get You.”