Dumplin‘, of course, is the new Netflix coming-of-age film about a plus-size teenage girl named Willowdean (Danielle Macdonald) who enters her small-town beauty pageant to spite her mother (Jennifer Anniston). In a stand-out supporting role, Ginger Minj plays a Dolly Parton impersonator who teaches Willowdean body positivity (which elevates her pageantry).
Below, a new music video for the film, featuring Ginger, Alaska Thunderfuck, Manila Luzon, BeBe Zahara Benet, BenDeLaCreme, and Katya, paying tribute to Parton in a remix of “Jolene” (now available on iTunes).
OUT magazine interviewed Ginger about her role in the movie:
OUT: Have you had a chance to meet Dolly Parton?
Ginger Minj: I met her when I was younger because my family used to go to Dollywood twice a year – back when we were a happy family, before my father abandoned us. That’s my story. It’s coming out on Netflix later. [laughs] We used to go all the time, and I remember we went for an album she had just debuted that she was doing a whole concert version of it at Dollywood. I was young and cute at the time. So, of course I got to meet her for a second, and I just remember that she smelled like the color pink. I don’t know how to describe it other than like if pink had a smell, it would be her. So, I was so excited to meet her again. Then, when we were on set for Dumplin’, she came in, and I was like, “That’s it. That’s that smell.”
What’s it like getting to pay tribute to “Jolene”?
It’s one of those songs that everybody knows, even if you don’t know the words to the song, you know the song. Everybody’s gone around singing, “Jolene, Jolene” at some point. So, for us to get the opportunity to bring it to a different audience and put a different spin on it, I think it’s important. It’s something you never could have told 10-year-old me I would get to do.
What was it like working on Dumplin’?
It was a week before I started filming. I had to go in for some fittings. I was there in this teeny-tiny little trailer, and I was still smoking at the time. I sat outside, smoking a cigarette, just waiting for something to happen, and Kathy Najimy comes out of the trailer and she goes, “Minj!” I was like, “You know who I am? You seriously know who I am?” So, we got to talking, and then she went to the trailer across, “Jennifer, get out here and come meet Ging’.” So, Jennifer Aniston comes out, drinking a coffee, “Thank you so much for working on our film. We’re very happy to have you here.” Kathy Najimy became my scene partner, my best friend on set. She said, “Is this your trailer? This won’t do.” She went and got me moved directly next to her into this gigantic trailer, like four times the size, and she would come over every day for coffee and Beyoncé. That was our routine for the two weeks that we were on set together.
How does it feel to be involved in a movie like this with such a body positive message?
I wish it’s something that we would have had when I was younger. I mean, we had Hairspray, but as much as I love it and I love John Waters, it’s through that absurd filter that society thinks this is ugly, but we think it’s beautiful, so we celebrate it. I like that this just says, “Nobody should think this is ugly. This is something that should be normal. This is something that should be positive for everybody.”
Read the whole interview here.