Rose Byrne describes what it was like to receive Dolly Parton’s blessing Seriously red and transforms into her Elvis Presley.
In an interview with Colliderpublished online on Saturday, the Treacherous star said she drove from Atlanta to Chattanooga, Tennessee to meet the singer’s longtime manager, Danny Nozell, because “we knew we just couldn’t do without Dolly [the film].”
“We had to try to get this script in [to] her, and to get her blessing, and to see if she can help us get the music,” she said. “If we hadn’t had the music, it would have been very different. I don’t know what the movie would have turned out to be, but it certainly wouldn’t have been a Dolly Parton impersonator.
Byrne said that Nozell, who was a champion of the film, got the film to Parton. “Within a few weeks she said, ‘Yeah, I really love it. I’m inspired by it. You have my blessing,'” she added. “It was incredible.”
The film, directed by Gracie Otto, delves into the world of tribute artists. It follows a realtor, Red, played by Krew Boylan, who also wrote the script, as she pursues her dreams of becoming a Dolly Parton impersonator. Along the way, her act catches the eye of an Elvis Presley impersonator, played by Byrne.
When it came to getting into character, the Bridesmaids actress said she worked with a hair, makeup and costume team that had previously worked The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the desert And Two hands, to create her version of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. “It was more of an early-looking Elvis and really into contouring, shading, and skin, and really focusing on that,” she explained. “Trying to get the wig right, the sideburns, the eyebrows, how much, how little. Then, for me, figuring out the mouth, the vocal work and the way his face is a little different around the cheek than mine.
The Neighbors actress said the film was important to her because it “brings up the idea of identity, this tribute artist subculture, and how far will you go to be taken seriously?” She added that it’s also a “joyful celebration of Dolly Parton and her legacy and her music, and her iconography, and all those iconic American pop and cultural figures, and internationally as well.”
Bryne, who played in the 2010 Treacherous and reprized her role in three other installments in the franchise, including the upcoming one Treacherous: Fear the darksaid it’s “really lovely” to hear how well the movies are doing.
“I occasionally get little tidbits about how it is, especially the first one, how it has become more of a cult hit than I knew,” she said, explaining that they shot the first film in 22 days.
As for the future Treacherous movies, Bryne said, “there’s always room for everything”, but that it would be a question for herself, Ty Simpkins and director Patrick Wilson if they wanted to “dive in again”.
“It had a built-in audience for over a decade,” she continued, talking about the upcoming film. “So that’s interesting to revisit this origin story, as we said, and really give the fans what they want.”