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Carrie Underwood debuts on the big screen

Carrie Underwood in Soul Surfer: Former American Idol champion, Carrie Underwood, makes her debut in the new movie Soul Surfer, based on the true story of a surfer who lost her arm in a shark attack.

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Carrie Underwood, of American Idol fame, is shown in a scene from her new movie Soul Surfer.

Mario Perez/TriStar Pictures/AP

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Carrie Underwood says she's happy with her first acting performance on the big screen.

The country music star plays a small but pivotal role in the film "Soul Surfer," the inspirational tale of shark attack survivor Bethany Hamilton.

"I'm happy with myself for the role and for the movie," Underwood said Monday night in Las Vegas where she had just wrapped up taping "ACM Presents Girls' Night Out: Superstar Women of Country." ''Am I going to win an Oscar? No. It was so much fun and the important thing is getting the story out there."

Underwood plays youth pastor Sarah Hill, a key figure in Hamilton's life and recovery after the attack. Hamilton, then 13, lost her left arm when a 14-foot (4.3-meter) tiger shark ripped it off while she was surfing with friends in Hawaii.

"Soul Surfer" is the tale of her recovery and triumphant return to the sport she loves.

Underwood says she was transfixed by the story and the message, which made it rise above other scripts and projects she's been pitched — and so far turned down.

The former "American Idol" champion was noncommittal when asked if the movie is the beginning of an acting career, though.

"You never know. I'm not saying anything either way," Underwood said. "I'm very busy with music and that's what I love, that's what I know. But you know this was special. It didn't fit into my schedule at all, but we made time for it. It was so special. So if something else really special came along, I'm not going to say never."

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