Making your big screen debut is, no doubt, a nerve-wracking experience. Doing it while playing a real-life person who just so happens to be hanging around the set would be enough to rattle even the most seasoned superstar.
That was exactly the case for Carrie Underwood, who, despite being the champ on her season of “American Idol” and making a cameo last season on “How I Met Your Mother,” had her trepidations about getting in front of the camera for her role in the upcoming inspirational biopic “Soul Surfer.”
In it, the Grammy-winning country singer plays Sarah Hill, a youth counselor who befriended and guided Bethany Hamilton (AnnaSophia Robb), a teen surfer who tragically lost her arm during a shark attack in 2003.
In this EXCLUSIVE behind-the-scenes look at “Soul Surfer,” Underwood discusses how she prepared for her big-screen debut and why she and her co-stars wanted to do Hamilton’s story justice.
“I think the most challenging aspect of making this movie, for me, is just that I’ve never done it before,” Underwood reveals in the clip. “This is all very new to me. I know how to sing…This is something, I’m way out of my element.”
Still, with the help of her fellow cast mates (which includes Helen Hunt and Dennis Quaid) and producer/director Sean McNamara, she made it work. “Everybody on the set has been so nice and so helpful and so patient with me….teaching me,” the 28-year-old star said, adding, “I feel really confident that they wouldn’t let me do anything I’d look bad doing. ”
But they weren’t the only ones helping Underwood hone in on her craft, as the real-life Sarah Hill was on the “Soul Surfer” set to give some pointers: “Sarah is kind of walking around, helping me out. I’m trying to say things the way she would say them.” And while Underwood said that she “could never be the real Sarah Hill,” she found some similarities she could work with. “She’s really strong and I believe I can get that. We have a lot of things in our personality that are the same.”
According to Underwood, the cast and crew of “Soul Surfer” wanted to get every detail as right as they could. “Everybody’s doing things for the right reasons,” she said of those who worked on the film, which has been five-plus years in the making. “I think it’s impossible to not be impacted when you’re a part of this movie.”
“Soul Surfer” rides into theaters on April 8.
Are you interested to see how Carrie Underwood bodes on the big screen in “Soul Surfer”? Let us know in the comments section and on Twitter!