Why Dolly Parton Sometimes ‘Couldn’t Even Do My Scenes’ With Sylvester Stallone in ‘Rhinestone’

Dolly Parton has a plethora of film credits in addition to her monumental list of hit songs. The Grammy Award winner co-starred alongside Rocky icon Sylvester Stallone in the 1984 movie Rhinestone, which ultimately flopped at the box office. The two superstars apparently hit it off and Parton revealed that Stallone had quite the sense of humor.

Sylvester Stallone points to Dolly Parton in a scene from the film 'Rhinestone'
Sylvester Stallone and Dolly Parton in ‘Rhinestone’ | 20th Century Fox/Getty Images

Dolly Parton and Sylvester Stallone became fast friends

Parton played country star Jake Farris in Rhinestone, who recruits an abrasive New York City cab driver named Nick (Stallone) to become a singer as part of a bet. The 9 to 5 actor immediately bonded with Stallone.

“When I met him, I loved him instantly,” Parton said in 1984, according to Smooth Radio. “I think we just struck up a wonderful lasting friendship. I loved his energy and his personality. He was very protective of me.”

Stallone recalled meeting Parton and enjoyed poking fun at the legendary singer.

“I’ll never forget, the first time I came in the door she was dressed all in black and had a meat cleaver,” Stallone said of his co-star, then added his focus on comedy. “If you look around, there is so much absurdity, there’s so much fun, that we try to pull it out. I mean, you are the most absurd thing I ever seen,” he joked to Parton, “and I am sure I am the most absurd you ever [seen]”.

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Dolly Parton gave props to Sylvester Stallone on comedic talent

With Stallone’s “tough guy” image from his iconic characters like Rocky and Rambo, Parton was a bit concerned if he could pull off a comedic performance.

“I was really impressed with him, because I wondered myself, because of the roles he played, if he would be funny,”
the “Jolene” singer revealed. “If he really could do comedy.”

Parton’s fears were soon put to rest. Stallone was so good at humor that Parton would often be unable to get through her lines.

“He had me laughing, I couldn’t even do my scenes,” she shared. “They just left my laughing in, because I was laughing in places were I wasn’t supposed to. I was supposed to be acting. He absolutely tickles me to death. He’s a crazy person.”

Sylvester Stallone admitted ‘silly comedy didn’t work for me’

Parton was hoping to eventually work with Stallone again, joking that she would put the blame on him if Rhinestone failed.

 “I hope this is a hit so we can do something else together,” she remarked. “Because if it’s a flop I don’t ever want to see your face again.”

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Unfortunately, the film tanked. Stallone later commented that he didn’t feel audiences wanted to see him in a comedic role and wanted to stick with characters that built his career. Despite the movie’s disappointment at the box office, he loved working with Parton.

“The most fun I ever had on a movie was with Dolly Parton on Rhinestone,” Stallone said in 2006, as reported by Wide Open Country. “Silly comedy didn’t work for me. I mean, would anybody pay to see John Wayne in a whimsical farce? Not likely. I would stay more true to who I am and what the audience would prefer rather than trying to stretch out and waste a lot of time and people’s patience.”