DUMPLIN star Jennifer Aniston talks about the mother-daughter story, beauty standards, and Dolly Parton!
The book and its adaptation follow Willowdean Dickson (Danielle MacDonald), a plus-sized Texas teen with a sharp wit whose protest entry into a beauty pageant to spite her mother (Aniston) shakes up the social hierarchy in her small town. Willowdean is obsessed with Dolly Parton’s music and no-apologies attitude, giving her the confidence to stand out.
“The truth is, that’s all changing now. That’s what this movie is all about. It’s about redefining beauty and how we as a society interpret what beauty is,” Aniston said. “It’s time to just stop thinking beauty is in the shape of a size 4 and the right butt size and the right waist size and the right measurements. It’s just old.”
She also talked a little more about the role itself: “My character is an ex–pageant queen who is fun but broken. It’s a beautiful mother-daughter story. And, of course, there’s the amazing musical element: Dumplin’ is an homage to Dolly Parton, who wrote a few original songs for this film.”
Much like author Julie Murphy, Aniston is a hardcore fan of Dolly Parton. She and Dolly Parton recently watched a screening of the film and it seems Dolly’s reaction was priceless:
“When Dolly and I watched the movie together, we were in a theater full of people who didn’t know we were sitting in the back. During one of the funnier parts, she’s stifling her laugh and whispers to me, ‘They can’t hear my laugh. They’ll know my laugh.’ A couple of minutes later I look over and she’s crying, and she says, ‘But they don’t know my tears.’”
Dumplin finished filming late last year, but the film doesn’t have a release date quite yet.