The 9 to 5 hitmaker has been searching for a young star to portray Parton as a kid in Coat of Many Colors, and she decided to tell seven-year-old Alyvia Lind the good news herself during a call-back audition in California.

Film footage of the incident, which aired on U.S. breakfast show Today on Monday (13Jul15), shows Lind gasping as Parton walks into the room and tells her, "What we're really here to do is to announce that you have been chosen to play little Dolly in the movie! How's that?"

The child star has previously featured in Adam Sandler's Blended movie and U.S. soap series The Young and The Restless.

Coat of Many Colors will document Parton's childhood as one of 12 kids in a poor, tight-knit family in Tennessee and how she overcame hardship and ridicule during her youth to establish herself as a country icon.

Parton will serve as a co-executive producer on the project, which will air on America's NBC network.