Lynn wasn’t alone. Tom Rickman, who wrote the screenplay for Coal Miner’s Daughter, also knew Spacek was perfect for the role.
“His concept of the film was to portray Loretta from the age of 13 to 40, and he knew I could look very young, and he also knew I was from a small town in Texas,” Spacek said.
Spacek pored over Lynn’s work — from her book to her albums. She even attended her live concerts. But perhaps the best research was meeting the “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin'” and “You Ain’t Woman Enough” singer herself. Spacek says upon meeting Lynn, she knew the role — and their friendship — was meant to be.
“I just loved her,” Spacek said. “She’s so honest, and she’s such a woman. She and I are the same size — five feet two-and-one-half inches, and there is something so familiar about her. When I met her, it was like meeting a long-lost friend.”
Lynn (and her band) encouraged Spacek to do her own singing and most of the songs were recorded live as she sang them.