Olympia Dukakis Reveals “Steel Magnolias” Director Gave Dolly Parton A Hard Time On Set

"The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore" Cast Photo Call

We snagged a few minutes with Olympia Dukakis while she was on set of Logo TV’s newest series, Cocktails & Classics, premiering this Sunday (April 19).

The eight-part series pairs gay-fave classic films with a slew of personalities dishing behind-the-scenes dirt.

Related: “Steel Magnolias” Screenwriter Robert Harling Reveals His Favorite Line From The Film

Dukakis was on hand spilling the tea on the series’ first offering, Steel Magnolias–a film for which her starring role and famous portrayal of Clairee Belcher won her an American Comedy Award nomination.

Read our chat with Dukakis below.


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NewNowNext: Do you have a favorite scene from the film?

Olympia Dukakis: Looking back on the whole experience, I think of the funny things that happened and the not so funny things that happened. I’m very grateful for the film in my life. It came right after Moonstruck but was very different than Moonstruck. The scene with Shirley on the bench is my favorite scene.

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Why do you think this film has secured such an loyal following?

Women feel so good about this film that they get together and they cry with each other. I finally figured out what it is: When you see them at the beginning, everybody is trying to fix something: Melinda is trying to fix up the house, the rest of us in the beauty parlor, and there doesn’t seem to be anything particularly special about these women.

And then what happens is you begin to understand that these women are capable of profound friendships and that’s what makes the women watching feel so good; they begin to see themselves in these women.

Who were you closest with among your co-stars?

I hung out with Daryl [Hannah] the most. It was ’88 and my cousin, Michael Dukakis, was running for president and he wanted me to shoot a short film for the Democratic Convention. I said ’I need someone outside to watch me,’ and so Daryl came with me to Boston and did just that.

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What was it like working with Dolly Parton?

I remember that our director, Herbert Ross, wasn’t very nice to her. She took it in stride, but I could see she was affected. But she wouldn’t talk about it; wouldn’t acknowledge it. Dolly’s an extraordinary woman.

How are fans of this film more enthusiastic than fans of other films you’ve done?

The yelling. People yell lines at me on the street. They don’t even stop. They just shout, ’I love ya more than my luggage and they keep going.

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Cocktails & Classics premieres this Sunday, April 19, at 7pm on Logo TV.