Announced Thursday, Zooey Deschanel will be playing Loretta Lynn in an upcoming Broadway adaptation of Coal Miner’s Daughter. Lynn herself announced the decision at an Opry Country Classics event in Nashville. According to Playbill, Lynn views Deschanel as a natural choice:
I know Zooey is going to be great – she sings and writes her own songs just like I do, and we even have the same color eyes!
Lynn is a country music veteran: as one of the dominant voices of the ’60s and ’70s, her music influenced a generation of musicians, Deschanel included. Coal Miner’s Daughter, originally released as a 1980 film starring Sissy Spacek, is a biopic of Lynn’s life. Deschanel has become a household name through a number of quirky-girl roles in film and television. Notable examples include 2003′s Christmas film Elf, 2009′s indie romp (500) Days of Summer and Fox’s New Girl, which will enter its second season this fall.
Perhaps less well known, but likely more important to her future on Broadway, is Deschanel’s musical career as one half of indie-country duo She & Him. (Multi-instrumentalist M. Ward provides the “Him” half.) Deschanel and Ward have a history of inventive yet reverential covers that suggest she will do well in her new role. Deschanel’s voice is naturally attuned to the country sphere and her other ventures have shown her acting capabilities. Her largest challenge (and her largest opportunity) may be in escaping the Manic Pixie Dream Girl role in which she’s so often cast.
Coal Miner’s Daughter is being produced by Fox Theatricals and Scott Sanders production. No word yet as to when the show will debut.