Sissy Spacek famously played Loretta Lynn in the 1980 biopic, Coal Miner's Daughter, based on Lynn's life and career. The actress, who accepted Lynn's CMT Artist of a Lifetime award on her behalf at the CMT Artists of the Year ceremony, says the film sparked a friendship that has endured through the last almost four decades.
"She cast me in the movie, first of all," Spacek exclusively told PopCulture.com. "And we had an instantaneous friendship. It was bizarre. She says, 'Sissy, we were twins in another life.' And I go, 'Okay, yeah, I get that.' She helped me so much with the role. She opened her eyes to me, she opened her heart to me. We're god-sisters."
Their friendship might have started with the Academy Award-winning movie, but Spacek insists that their relationship is unrelated to their respective jobs.
"It didn't have anything really to do with our professional career," maintained Spacek. "It was just we're like girlfriends. We're best friends. We sit around and chew the fat so to speak. We hang out, we play music. We haven't done that in a while but we're going to. We're going to get back to it. Just we love each other."
Spacek visited with Lynn earlier in the day on Oct. 17, before the star-studded ceremony.
"She's so excited about tonight," Spacey said of the 86-year-old. "She's so disappointed that she couldn't be here. She's fantastic, she looks great and I love her dearly. She's a treasure. She's a national treasure."
"She's lived quite a life," continued the actress. "And it just goes on. She's cool. When I saw her today she said, "We got to get together. You got to come stay with me and we're going to write some songs. We'll go in the studio. We've got to get back on stage."
Miranda Lambert, one of the honorees during the live broadcast, toasted the country music icon as one of the biggest trailblazers for women in country music.
"We don't have time tonight to talk about her accomplishments and accolades," Lambert said from stage. "She blazed a trail, and showed us all how it's done. She showed us how to pursue our dreams and speak our minds."
Upon accepting the honor, Spacek gave credit to Lynn, and her unwavering support of Spacek.
"From the moment we met, she's been my cheerleader, my sister, my best friend," Spacek said through tears from stage. "And it's still like that almost 40 years later. It's my honor to accept her award. Well done, Loretta. Well done. I think Loretta said it best. It's about dad-gum time we recognize women.'"
Other honorees during the CMT Artists of the Year ceremony included Carrie Underwood, Maren Morris, Kelsea Ballerini, Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott, and Kimberly Schlapman and Karen Fairchild from Little Big Town.
Photo Credit: Getty images/Larry Busacca