05/12/2014 at 02:00 PM EDT
Think Dolly Parton and you think dolled up: big hair, long nails, sparkles and curves that are the stuff of punch lines and legends. But the singer says she'd love the chance to shed her "town tramp" look (as she's called it) for the sake of a serious film role.
"I really would love to do something that would be something special enough for me to be willing not to wear the high heels and the fingernails and all that," the star tells PEOPLE Country. "In the same way that Billy Bob Thornton did Sling Blade
, I'd love to have a character where I could really, really be an actress and not just Dolly Parton
, the personality, the boobs and the hair and all that."
While her first love is, of course, still music – she released her 42nd studio album, Blue Smoke
, on Tuesday – she's no stranger to the big screen, having starred in films like 9 to 5
and Steel Magnolias
. But, the singer says, thus far, her on-screen persona hasn't veered too far from her on-stage look.
"It would have to be something special, 'cause normally I'm not that comfortable, but if a great role, like a Norma Rae
or something should come along, I would do it," Parton says. "At least once in my life, I'd like to do one really great movie where I could really act and not just be all of this phony stuff."