25 years ago, a movie changed the way women were treated in the work place - 9 To 5. It starred Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Dolly Parton as the workers and Dabney Coleman as their nasty boss.
Now, that momentous film is coming to a special 'Sexist, Egotistical, Lying, Hypocritical, Bigot Edition from Fox Home Entertainment. Last night, they held a premiere and party for the release. I had the opportunity to be on the red carpet as well as go inside to hear the beautiful voice of Dolly belt out the title song from the movie - which seriously gave me chills.
While on the red carpet, I spoke with Dolly, who was just overwhelmed by the amount of people who showed up. She reflected on 9 To 5 being her first film role and if she thought it would make such an impact. "No, I don't anyone ever thinks that; I was just nervous and scared."
Then she joked, "I said if it's a hit, it's because of me; if it's a flop, you can blame it on Lily and Jane because they're the big stars. That's kind of how I felt, but then when it did become such a big hit, I was very proud to be a part of it."
And since it's been 25 years, you could assume going back and doing the commentary on the DVD was tough trying to remember what happened. "It wasn't hard once we started watching the movie; when we got in the studio, it was just all fun. It just brought it all back when we all got together."
What we found out later on inside the party was that Dolly and Lily were both at an LA studio, while Jane was in New Mexico; they were all watching it at the same time and were so into the movie and laughing at parts, they stopped doing commentary. Someone had to come on the speaker and tell them to start talking again.
Jane also produced the film and executive produced the spin-off TV show, and she also had a hand in the organization called '9 to 5,' which was founded in 1973. Through the movie and the organization women have been treated much better in the workplace. But when the idea of the movie came along, she hopped on board to act in it. "I knew once Lily and Dolly were going to be in it, I had to take the least interesting role and it was fun to play that part."
Lily talked about the appreciation of being attached to such an iconic film. "Those memories are so vivid for us, all three of. I think it was pretty set from the beginning; we spent time together before we shot; I knew Dolly before a little bit. I was just a huge fan of Jane's. Maybe it's because we're all so different from each other that it works, and I have to credit Jane for that because she developed the movie for us."
By the way, Lily just wrapped production on her work on The West Wing; her episode will appear very soon on NBC.
Producer, Bruce Gilbert was also in attendance; he talked about the difference between the ladies and what made this such an important film. "I think it's because it brought together for the first time three women with three distinctly different personalities. It touched a cord, because everyone has worked for somebody that didn't appreciate them how they should and this was a film that was able to express that in a comedic way and I think it did."
Once we were off the carpet, we headed inside to the party where Bruce made the announcement that Dabney couldn't make it because of a family emergency; he read a note that Dabney wrote about how much he would have liked to have been there. He then continued with how lucky he was to be associated with those three women.
9 to 5 DVD Event
Dolly, Lily, and Jane all talked, to the whole crowd, about working on the film and Dolly writing the title song. It turns out, very soon after production started, Dolly walked into one of the morning meetings and started playing the theme song on her fingernails; then she started singing some of the lyrics. She actually demonstrated her fingernail musical talent for us, making the joke "You've got to use falsies for this...and fingernails, too."
But then, the real treat happened - they all got up and sang the '9 to 5' song. Hearing Dolly sing live is just incredible; as I said earlier, I got chills listening to her voice. After the song was over, they thanked the crowd and they left the stage.
On a side note, as a few of us were walking out, I ran into Neil Patrick Harris, who showed up for the party; he told me his TV show How I Met Your Mother is on hiatus right now and they're going back in the fall.
You can pick up the 9 To 5 Sexist, Egotistical, Lying, Hypocritical, Bigot Edition in stores April 4th.