Kellie Pickler Lands a Movie Role – Playing a Potato

Kellie Pickler VeggieTales Movie
Kellie Pickler in the studio
Russ Harrington/DreamWorks

updated 10/14/2014 AT 01:45 PM EDT

originally published 10/14/2014 AT 12:25 PM EDT

Kellie Pickler's career path has taken her many places: the American Idol finals; a correspondent job on Jay Leno's Tonight Show; the table at The View; and the Dancing with the Stars ballroom. And now?

"I'm a potato!" the bubbly blonde exclaimed during a chat in a Nashville studio. "But not just any potato. I'm a sweet potato, the sweetest potato of them all."

The singer, 28, was talking about her role as Mirabelle in a new VeggieTales movie, Beauty and the Beet, out this month. "You don't expect your management to call and say, 'We have an opportunity for you to be a sweet potato,'" she joked. But it happened.

Pickler recorded seven songs for the movie and said that was the easy part. Though she and her character are both performers – Mirabelle is the vocalist for The VeggieTones – the experience came with a bit of a learning curve.

"It was really fun to go in the studio and bring this character to life in a voice, but it's so much harder than it looks," she shared. "[It's] one thing acting on a movie where you're a person and not a potato. As a person, you don't even have to say anything – your face and expressions can say it and let the audience know if you're upset or angry or happy. They see your body language. But when you're an animated potato, they have to hear it in your voice."

To help get into character, Pickler thought of her late grandmother Faye Pickler. "Mirabelle sees the best in everyone, even the Beet, who is grouchy and grumpy. She reminded me of my grandmother in that way," she explained. "She had the amazing ability of not only being able to forgive but to also forget, to always see the glass half full."

But Grandma Faye isn't the only family member who has a hand in Pickler's latest role.

"My nieces and nephews are big fans," the star said. "They're probably more excited about me being the sweet potato on VeggieTales than they were with DWTS. I'm the cool aunt now."

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