Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin.com

Country singer-songwriter Carrie Underwood makes her big-screen debut this Friday in "Soul Surfer," the true story of Bethany Hamilton, the teenager who became a pro surfer after losing her arm to a shark attack.

"It's such an inspirational story," says Underwood, the 2005 "American Idol" winner, who plays the supporting role of a youth counselor to Hamilton (played by AnnaSophia Robb).

The smaller part suits Underwood while she eases into acting. "So many people come from the music world and jump into a starring role, and then get made fun of for it," she told StyleList during interviews for the film in Los Angeles. "I didn't want a movie where the success of it was all on my shoulders."

Underwood looked extremely feminine in a floral-print spring dress and coral heels (which she later switched for the nude, floral-print tiered dress with black heels that she is wearing in the photograph). "There is a departure from your human side and your work side," she said about dressing up for photographers. "When you're at home, you're not wearing heels or your work attire!"

"I try to dress appropriate to the event that I'm going to. The style thing has evolved for me just because I have more options now. Before, it was wherever I found things or if it belonged to one of my friends or sister. I still have hand-me-downs from my sister who is a decade older than me."

The newlywed said she feels a new pressure when picking out her wardrobe. "I just got married (to hockey player Mike Fisher). It hasn't even been a year yet. It influences what I wear because I don't want people assuming I'm pregnant. Now I try to stay away from baggy outfits because I don't want people to think, Oh, she's hiding something. Now I have to think a little extra. We have plenty of time to have kids."

Even though it seems like a fairy-tale existence, Underwood said, "I live the most boring life away from what you see me doing on the stage. I consider myself a normal person that likes to perform. When I'm at home, I'm Carrie the person in sweatpants. When I'm 'Carrie Underwood,' I'm dressed like this."


"Soul Surfer," also starring Helen Hunt and Dennis Quaid, is in theaters everywhere this Friday.