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Zooey Deschanel and Loretta Lynn
© Zooey Deschanel and Loretta Lynn / AP
Zooey Deschanel says she pestered Loretta Lynn musical producers for lead role


Actress-singer Zooey Deschanel says she spent months badgering the producers behind a new Broadway musical based on the life of country icon Loretta Lynn in a bid to land the lead role.

The "New Girl" star reveals that the idea to turn the singer's 1976 autobiography, "Coal Miner's Daughter," into a stage show hit her one day while she was in the shower and that she immediately called her manager to see if the project was already in the works. Lynn had already set the ball rolling on the production, so Deschanel reached out to the organizers behind the show, only to be told a casting decision would not be made for months. She persevered and continued to regularly check in with the producers, and her efforts finally paid off last spring.

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Deschanel tells Katie Couric, "It was fortuitous because it was being developed and I ... (thought), 'Oh my God, 'The Coal Miner's Daughter' should be on Broadway because it's such a good story and the music is so great.' So I called my manager and said, 'Can you check to see if somebody's developing this?' And somebody was, and they said, 'We don't attach actresses this early in the game,' but we kept plugging away and finally they were talking to Loretta Lynn's camp and they said, 'Oh, Loretta loves Zooey!'" The actress was invited to meet Lynn before a concert in Nashville, Tenn., last May, and she immediately won the legend's approval, with the singer making the big casting announcement onstage during her gig at the Ryman Auditorium that night.

Deschanel is still waiting to hear when she will make her Broadway debut: "It's in development, so I don't know exactly when it's going to happen, but I'm so excited."

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