Dolly Parton shut out of 'Hannah Montana' film

Friday, February 20, 2009
** FILE ** In this Feb. 10, 2009 file photo, Country and western singer, songwriter and philanthropist Dolly Parton, reacts as she is asked a question during a National Press Club luncheon in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, file)

OXON HILL, Md. -- It's all over the Internet that Dolly Parton will be in the upcoming "Hannah Montana" movie, but Parton says she didn't make the cut.

"I'm not in the movie," she said. "I wish I had been."

According to Parton, producers had asked her early on if she would revisit her recurring TV role as Aunt Dolly in the film, due out April 10, starring teen sensation Miley Cyrus.

"I said I would love to! I assumed that they were gonna be writing me a part," she said in a recent interview.

But her character was not included in the script.

Even though she's disappointed, Parton said people still come up to her all the time, saying "Hi, Aunt Dolly!" The 63-year-old singer called doing the TV show "probably the best move" she's ever made, because it introduced her to an entire new generation.

Parton is now blogging on her website and is active on her Facebook and MySpace pages.

"I feel like I came from the dark ages into the light ages. When I first started out, we didn't even have electricity," she said. "I was singing on TV before we even owned one. Now here I am in this high-tech world. I don't even know half of what the stuff means. But I'm on it."

Parton grew up in rural East Tennessee, the fourth of 12 children. While some stars run as far away from home as possible, Parton has made it a point to embrace the community she grew up in.

"There is a lot to be said about people that hang on with dear life to the things that are dear to them. And I take the Smoky Mountains wherever I go."

She's promoting the 75th anniversary of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park this year, and has written a musical at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., called "Sha-Kon-O-Hey!," the Cherokee word meaning "Land of Blue Smoke."

-- The Associated Press

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