FIRST LOOK: Carrie Underwood's Big-Screen Debut in Soul Surfer

01/27/2011 at 11:20 AM EST

FIRST LOOK: Carrie Underwood's Big-Screen Debut in Soul Surfer
Carrie Underwood, in Soul Surfer trailer
Nashville darling Carrie Underwood catches a wave to Hollywood with her first feature-film role in the forthcoming Soul Surfer – and shows off her acting chops in the first trailer, just posted to

Underwood, 27, who was nominated for a Golden Globe this year (for best song) but hasn't acted in movies until now, plays a church youth counselor in the film, which tells the true story of a young surfer in Hawaii who loses her arm in a shark attack.

Underwood's character, Sarah Hill, helps the surfer, Bethany Hamilton (played by AnnaSophia Robb), fight through the tragedy and return to the sport.

"Sarah has been my best friend since I was very young," Hamilton told PEOPLE last year. "After my shark attack, she always knew what to say to push me on."

Soul Surfer is due in theaters April 8.

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