Megan Hilty is Patsy Cline in Lifetime’s ‘Patsy & Loretta’

‘Smash’ alum Megan Hilty portrays Patsy Cline

Jessie Mueller (left) and Megan Hilty star in “Patsy & Loretta” Saturday on Lifetime.

To become Patsy Cline for a cable movie, Megan Hilty made a deep dive into the country-music icon’s life, times and songs.

Debuting Saturday, Oct. 19, Lifetime’s made-in-Nashville “Patsy & Loretta” recounts the friendship between Cline and Loretta Lynn (played by Hilty’s fellow Broadway veteran Jessie Mueller, of “Waitress” and “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical”). They were at very different career stages when they met, with Cline well-established and Lynn just starting out … and after Cline’s tragic death in a 1963 plane crash, Lynn carried the mantle of accomplished women in country for both of them.

“I normally have a really hard time watching myself,” friendly “Smash” alum Hilty says, “but with this, I think because I look so different, I was able to sit back and enjoy it. When they first approached me about it, I said, ‘How much hair is going into the wigs?’ I feel like no matter how good the script and everything else is, if you don’t have a good wig, people are going to be focused on that the entire time. And they told me that was a massive priority.”

Jessie Mueller (left) and Megan Hilty star in “Patsy & Loretta” Saturday on Lifetime.

Still, Hilty understood there was more to the part than the look, and “Crazy,” “I Fall to Pieces” and “Walkin’ After Midnight” are among the Cline classics she renders. “I didn’t really know about her life,” she admits, “and the more research I did, the more madly in love I fell with her. I read two different books, and I did not like one of them very much because it seemed like a lot of gossip. Then I read another biography on her that made sense, and I watched anything of her that I could get my hands on; it’s mostly of her performances and not much patter, so the personal stuff was a lot of guesswork.”

Reuniting Hilty with “Smash” executive producer Neil Meron (in his first solo effort after the passing of his longtime producing colleague Craig Zadan), “Patsy & Loretta” was directed by someone who knew its background: Callie Khouri, the Oscar-winning “Thelma & Louise” writer who created and produced the drama series “Nashville.” The result, Hilty maintains, was “the most pleasant working experience I’ve ever had. Everybody on that set was legitimately upset that it was ending, and you dream of having that kind of environment.”

Cline and Lynn’s daughters – respectively, Julie Fudge and Patsy Lynn Russell — are co-producers of “Patsy & Loretta,” which made Hilty even more determined to get her task on the film right. Cline was “a real person, with a real legacy to uphold, and I wanted to be extremely respectful of that,” Hilty reflects. “I think the script does her justice.”

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

jbobbin has 2362 posts and counting.See all posts by jbobbin

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Oct 19, 2019 1:36 am

i have waited a long time for this. since i first heard it would be made i just could not wait and not i dont get Lifetime channel. is sthere any other way to see it or can it be ordered. i may go to my friends house to see it. i will find a way. i know it will be good.

Oct 19, 2019 9:04 pm

so far it’s what I expected a wonderful movie of 2 friends there for each other and just trying to be everyday people helping and supporting each other

Becky Chambers
Becky Chambers
Oct 20, 2019 5:21 pm

I wanted to watch it because I’m a big Lorreta Lynn and Patsy Cline fan. My husband searched around until he found what we thought was this movie. But to watch it we had to buy some kind of special TV package.

Pin It on Pinterest