Dolly Parton Inspires Brooklyn Nine-Nine Star

If you think about Detective Rosa Diaz on FOX’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine, you might assume she liked heavy metal. Rock ’n’ roll. Maybe even some kind of alt-punk grunge music. That’s just the vibe I get from the badass role she plays in the NYPD’s 99th precinct.

But the woman behind that character is Stephanie Beatriz. And she’s a Dolly Parton fan.

Beatriz told the Wall Street Journal that she started listening to Parton when she was in junior high in Texas.

“When I found out what she looked like — the tight outfits, the cleavage, the bright lipstick and the big blond hair — I loved her even more. She was so comfortable in her own skin and liked looking that way. She’s also a terrific singer-songwriter, and many of her lyrics are about her struggles coming up hard,” Beatriz said.

“My favorite is ’Coat of Many Colors,'” she added. “When I first heard ’Coat,’ I bought a cassette tape of the album for our boom box at home.”

Beatriz’ parents are from South America, but it sounds like they encouraged her and her little sister to seek out a little American culture. So when she started playing Parton’s music at home, Beatriz said “no one blinked.”

While it sounds like Beatriz has tried to get some of the show’s other actors to take an interest in her favorite music, so far she’s only been able to play the music in her makeup trailer. She’s made mix tapes for the actors — maybe even one for the show’s star and producer Andy Samberg — but she doesn’t know if anyone’s listened.

“I haven’t shared my interest in Dolly with too many people. Friends roll their eyes when I talk about her,” she admitted. But the Golden Globe-winning show was recently picked up for a second season. So maybe next year, Beatriz will be able to infuse some country music into the precinct. After all, she credits Parton for helping her become an actress in the first place.

“Dolly’s courage on ’Coat’ also helped me become an actress. The words took my focus off the superficial stuff and the discomfort of starting out and let me focus on what I needed to do to be good enough,” Beatriz said. “Despite Dolly’s background, she was able to find her self-worth, work hard and become special.”