The Academy Award nominee said that she was taken aback by Parton's wit and her dedication to her work while shooting their new movie.
"She's funny as hell. She is funny and quick-witted," Latifah revealed to Access Hollywood, "She's a little bit rambunctious. But ultimately, she's an icon."
Latifah added of Parton's work ethic: "[Dolly] works harder than anyone I know. She is dedicated, she loves music and she loves her family and her friends. She treats everyone around her as family. That means a lot."
Parton joked earlier this week that she has been approached to join Dancing with the Stars several times, but feels she's not crazy enough to compete for the Mirrorball Trophy.
Latifah and Parton's film Joyful Noise opens on Friday, January 13 in US cinemas.
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Watch a trailer for Joyful Noise below: