Dolly Parton Interviews Reese Witherspoon for InStyle

by Kristen Heinzinger

Photography: Thomas Whiteside; Styling: Melissa Rubini; Top: Armani Privé; Rings: Chanel Fine Jewelry, Messika Paris, and her own Bracelets: De Beers, Messika Paris, and Tiffany & Co.

In an out of the ordinary interview, country music phenom Dolly Parton talks to InStyle’s December cover star Reese Witherspoon, following the second leg of her Pure & Country tour, where Witherspoon and her friends were amongst the many fans in the crowd. They discussed being a “true Southern girl,” standing up to “bull donkeys,” and more. Read some gems from their convo, below. 

Reese on her inspiration…
“When I was probably 5 years old, I wanted to be Dolly Parton. I was skipping around the blacktop at school by myself, and my P.E. teacher said, ‘Why aren’t you playing the game [with the other kids]?’ I said, ‘Well, I’m not going to play the game because, Ms. Wright, I’m going to be Dolly Parton when I grow up.'” 

On choosing who she works with…
“I think that’s another good part of getting older.  I’ve realized that life is too short to spend my time with anybody who doesn’t appreciate me, treat me with respect, or bring value to the relationship.  I’m much more confident now, and I feel like I have the ability to say, “Nope, I don’t want to work with that person.”

On her clothing line, Draper James…
“It’s a new chapter for me starting a business, going around passing the hat, and promoting it all over the place.  It’s a different experience, but I’m enjoying learning something new.  I’ve been acting for about 25 years, and I still love it, but I like the challenge of trying something else too.  I find there are a lot of people talking about New York and Los Angeles, but there’s a whole world out there in between, and that’s who I like to tell stories about and make products for – people who love the life they have and have a sense of style that’s uniquely their own.”

On her children and being a working mother…
“I’m just trying to hold on, trying to make it through.  My older kids help with the little one.  It’s nice to have a big family…My mom worked, and I think it’s good for kids to see women working and being successful.  I think it’s going to make them hard workers because they see that I don’t get much sleep.  But I love what I do.  I want them to grow up with passion.  This is the one life you get, and you have to live it to the very end.”

Scoop up the issue when it hits newsstands November 11.

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