"American Idol" winner Carrie Underwood is diving into acting with her first feature film role in the drama "Soul Surfer."

The project is directed by Sean McNamara and tells the true story of teen surfing champion Bethany Hamilton, who lost her arm in a shark attack at the age of 13.

AnnaSophia Robb will play Hamilton, with Dennis Quaid and Helen Hunt as the girl's parents. "Soul Surfer," which co-stars Lorraine Nicholson and Kevin Sorbo, has begun shooting this week in Hawaii.

According to Variety, Underwood will play a church youth leader. She follows the path to the big screen braved by such "American Idol" veterans as Kevin Covais ("College"), Katharine McPhee and, of course, Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson.

"Soul Surfer" is produced through Mandalay Vision and Brookwell McNamara Entertainment and Life's a Beach Entertainment. It has distribution through the Sony-affiliated Affirm Films.

Underwood, one of the biggest names in country and popular music, had her own FOX holiday special in December and will make her acting debut in an upcoming episode of "How I Met Your Mother" on CBS.