10 years ago, Carrie Underwood made her big feature film debut in the movie Soul Surfer. The American Idol alum had already dabbled in Hollywood once after making her acting debut in an episode of How I Met Your Mother, but this was a much bigger undertaking. Before the film was even released it was receiving controversial feedback, mostly due to the fact that the movie did not shy away from including faith-based plotlines centered around Christianity. But this lined up with Underwood's personal beliefs so she was game regardless of what critics said. After all, "Jesus, Take the Wheel" was one of her biggest early hits.
The film followed the true story of teenage surfer Bethany Hamilton in Hawaii who loses her left arm in a shark attack. Annasophia Robb starred in the film as Bethany with Dennis Quaid and Helen Hunt co-starring as her parents. Jack Nicholson's daughter, Lorraine Nicholson plays Bethany's friend and fellow surfer, Alana, and Underwood plays the local church youth leader, Sarah Hill, whose strong support following the attack helps Bethany decide to keep surfing.
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The film, directed by Sean McNamara, was adapted from Bethany's autobiography, Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board so it seems obvious that all of the faith-based inclusions were based on what actually happened. Apparently, the studio even tried cutting out certain Christian elements including the name 'Holy Bible' on the Bible Dennis Quaid is reading in a scene, but the Hamilton Family was adamant that didn't happen. As for the country superstar, Underwood signed on to the movie because she felt like it was an important story to tell.
"This whole movie, this whole project is important," Underwood explained to MTV in 2011. "It's important to get Bethany's story out, and people being entertained but also, hopefully, people leave the movie theater feeling different about themselves in their lives and inspired," she said.
She added that the entire cast and crew were incredibly patient with her making her big-screen debut and not really knowing how to navigate a set. The world of country music is quite different from Hollywood!
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