“Coat of Many Colors,” inspired by Dolly Parton’s iconic autobiographical song, was a ratings hit with viewers last year. Next up is the sequel, “Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love,” launching Nov. 30 on NBC.
Atlanta actor Dylan Michael Rowen, 14, returns as Dolly’s brother, Denver Parton.
“It was wonderful,” he said of the filming experience. “She is one of the sweetest people on Earth.”
Alyvia Alyn Lind returns in her role as young Dolly. As the real-life big brother to Sophie, 10, and Sydney, 12, Dylan related to Denver’s nurturing nature.
“The thing I like most is the love he had for Dolly,” Dylan said. “He protects her with all of his life.”
The challenge in working on the project is that the movie, shot in Conyers and Covington, was filmed in the heat of the summer but was set during the chilly holidays. There also were lots of long nights, meaning Dylan didn’t have as much time to hang out with friends as he usually does.
But the driven young artist didn’t mind the sacrifice. It was at about age 9 that he started watching television with an eye toward the future.
“I said to myself, ‘This is what I want to do with my life,’” he said. “‘I want to be an entertainer and I want to make people laugh.’”
He wasn’t too familiar with Parton’s music before landing the role but quickly became a fan. His mom, Stacey Rowen, enjoyed the Los Angeles premiere of the original movie and looks forward to this one, at Dollywood. Parton’s Tennessee theme park will be the site of a Nov. 22 premiere for “Christmas of Many Colors.”
“I was so overwhelmed and touched by how many people watched ‘Coat of Many Colors’ and their reaction to it,” Parton said in a statement. “The song ‘Coat of Many Colors,’ of course, has always been my favorite and has touched so many people through the years, especially me. It is a true story from a very special time in my childhood.”
The song shares the true story of how her mother stitched a coat from scrap bits of fabric when Dolly was a child; the family couldn’t afford store-bought finery. Although other kids made fun of her homemade garment, Dolly cherished the priceless gift and eventually penned the moving song about it.
In “Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love,” the Parton family’s struggles and triumphs continue. It stars Ricky Schroder and Jennifer Nettles as Dolly’s parents.
“I am so happy to share this story with the viewers and to say there is so much more to tell because mine truly has been a life of many colors,” Parton said. “I hope the viewers will fall in love all over again.”
Dylan just finished a commercial and has auditions for other roles planned, but is especially proud to have worked with a star of Parton’s caliber so young in his career, noting, “She’s a legend.”