Reba McEntire on Becoming Colonel Sanders: ‘I’m Kind of Fearless’
It took one hot minute for Reba McEntire to get excited about becoming the first female Colonel Sanders. The singer just couldn't resist this spicy new opportunity to appear as the KFC mascot.
OK, after McEntire's manager introduced the idea she says she took a few days to collect details, but within a month she was in a makeup chair watching as a glam team applied facial hair, matted her real red hair to her head and lowered the iconic white Colonel curl onto her melon. Then she looked in the mirror.
"Hys-terical!" she says, laughing when she recalls how she reacted. "It was hysterical. It was funny, it was kind of cute. Outlandish. And then some friends of mine came up on the trailer while I was waiting to go back in, as the Colonel, and they walked right past me."
The singer and Grammy winner was in Las Vegas for her residency with Brooks & Dunn when manager Clarence Spalding suggested the chicken gig. That was in December, and by January 9 she was filming two commercials and several teasers in Los Angeles. Despite long hours, it was an easy shoot for McEntire, an esteemed actor and singer. The creative boards matched what viewers see online or on television, and they changed whatever she didn't want to do. The hardest part may have been sitting for three hours a day in a makeup chair, but she had her cell phone to entertain her.
New roles excite the singer/film and television star/Broadway sensation (are we missing anything?). While her 30-year-old self may have taken her image too seriously, modern day Reba embraces anything that's different. Diversifying is a 10-piece bucket full of fun (we promise that's the last chicken-related pun. Maybe.).
"When I did Annie Get Your Gun back in 2001, that was the first play that I had ever been in," she recalls. "When I was doing the interviews somebody asked me, 'Aren't you scared to death that this is your first play?'"
"I looked at him kind of shocked and said, 'No, I never thought about that.' I'm kind of fearless in this sense, but I like to try new things."
A venture into Gospel music netted her a Grammy at the 2018 awards show — something that was unexpected and rewarding for this superstar. So, where's the bar? How does she decide what's appropriate for her "brand" and image?
Truthfully, she doesn't overthink it.
"Don't take yourself so seriously," she says, mashing her response with a little advice for others. "Have fun with life. When I see people that can laugh at themselves that's very endearing to me. When Shelby, my almost 28-year-old son, when he started not taking things so seriously ... when he'd say something wrong he'd just laugh at himself and go on, that's a very endearing trait and everybody feels more comfortable around you. That's a pretty cool thing."
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