Lifetime has announced an original movie for television called Patsy & Loretta, which is being directed by Callie Khouri, the creator of Nashville, who’s obviously staying where her strengths are. Country legends Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn are being played respectively by Megan Hilty and Jessie Mueller. The duo bring some serious acting to the table, Megan, 37, having been one of the stars of NBC’s Smash, while Jessie, 36, has made a home for herself on Broadway in both Waitress and Beautiful: The Carole King Story.
Lifetime describes the film as follows: “When they first met, Patsy (Hilty) was already one of the biggest stars in country music while Loretta (Mueller) was just a coal miner’s daughter, starting off with little to her name but a $17 guitar. Instead of seeing Loretta as competition, Patsy took Loretta under her wings to help her make it in Nashville. Soon, they became close friends, touring together, bonding over their husband troubles and commiserating on being females in the male-dominated music business. Then in 1963, the country music community was struck with a tragedy when, at just age 30, Patsy died in a plane crash. Despite the devastating loss of her friend, Loretta continued on in the industry and is today known as the First Lady of Country Music. To this day, Loretta remains grateful to Patsy for her mentorship and above all, friendship, as the country music trailblazer that paved the way for Loretta.”
Back in 1985, Patsy’s story was brought to the screen in the form of Sweet Dreams, for which Jessica Lange was nominated for an Academy Award in the category of Best Actress. Back when the film was released, Jessica was interviewed by the New York Times and discussed the elements of the singer that attracted her to the role. “There was nothing hidden or neurotic or withheld,” she said. “Those are great qualities. Something I never played before. Tremendous ranges in emotion that last 30 to 40 seconds. Nothing harbored. Like a firecracker going off all the time. I felt that at this time in my life it was a good exercise as a person to play this character.”
Five years earlier, Loretta’s story was brought to life by Sissy Spacek in Coal Miner’s Daughter, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress. Whereas Sweet Dreams didn’t feature Loretta, Coal Miner’s Daughter cast Beverly D’Angelo in the part of Patsy Cline.
Filming will begin this month and the film is supposed to air by the end of the year.