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Zooey Deschanel to portray Loretta Lynn on Broadway

05/11/2012 by Olivia Allin

Zooey Deschanel is going to make her Broadway debut in the role of a lifetime - portraying her hero, Loretta Lynn in a musical adaptation of "Coal Miner's Daughter."

The actress joined the 77-year-old singer on-stage at Grand Ole Opry show in Nashville's Ryman Auditorium on Thursday, when the country legend announced that her life story would be going to Broadway with Deschanel attached to star.

In 1979, Lynn invited actress Sissy Spacek onto the Opry stage to announce that she would portray her in the 1980 film, "Coal Miner's Daughter," a role which earned the actress an Academy Award.

"There's a little girl back stage that's going to do the play of 'Coal Miner's Daughter' on Broadway," Lynn told the audience on May 10. "Zooey, where you at honey?"

According to the Associated Press, Lynn then invited Deschanel on stage and asked her, "Are you going to help me sing 'Coal Miner's Daughter'?"

"I'm going to help you sing," Deschanel replied. "This is a great honor for me. This is my hero."

The pair alternated verses and finished the song holding hands. The autobiographical song, which tells of Lynn's childhood in rural Kentucky, was a No. 1 hit for Lynn in 1970. "Coal Miner's Daughter" was also the title of the singer's 1976 autobiography and the movie, which followed Lynn's rise from her humble beginnings to country stardom. Lynn was the first woman to be named Entertainer of the Year by the Country Music Association, in 1972.

"Loretta Lynn asked me to do 'coal miner's daughter' on broadway! I said YES!" Deschanel Tweeted after the show.

Deschanel currently stars in the comedy series "New Girl," which earned her a Golden Globe nomination and was recently renewed for a second season. On the show, Deschanel plays a quirky young adult named Jess who moves in with three men after a bad breakup with her boyfriend.

Producers for the musical, Fox Theatricals and Scott Sanders Productions, said the schedule of "Coal Miner's Daughter" will not conflict with Deschanel's "New Girl" commitments.

The actress, whose older sister is "Bones" star Emily Deschanel," is also known for films such as "Yes Man," "Almost Famous," the R-rated fantasy comedy "Your Highness" and the 2009 romance drama "(500) Days of Summer." (See photos of Zooey Deschanel through the years.)

The younger Deschanel made headlines recently for her split from fellow musician husband Ben Gibbard, singer of the rock band Death Cab for Cutie. The actress filed for divorce in late December 2011.

Deschanel has been featured on several of her movie soundtracks and performs in a jazz cabaret act called If All the Stars Were Pretty Babies. She is also part of the indie folk rock duo She & Him with M. Ward.

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