Soul Surfer, inspirational film about Bethany Hamilton, slated to hit theatres
Soul Surfer, a movie based on the inspirational true story of Bethany Hamilton, will be shown in theatres starting April 8.
Hamilton, 21, has inspired millions through her autobiography, Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board, published by MTV Books, I Am Rogue reported.
A professional surfer, Hamilton was born in Kauai, HI in 1990 to a family that was devoted to the sport. When she was eight years old she entered her first surfing contest and won in both of the categories that she competed in, according to I Am Rogue.
A year later, at the age of nine, she won the Rell Sun Menehune competition. This opened the door to her first sponsor, Ripcurl, which stayed by her even after the tragic accident when a shark bit off her left arm when she was 13 years old, I Am Rogue reported.
Hamilton told I Am Rogue, “They continued to support me through the loss of my arm, recovery, and return to surfing. I’m proud to wear their clothes and use their products.”
It was on an Oct. 31 morning in 2003 when Hamilton, a rising star on the waves, was attacked by a 14-foot tiger shark that chewed off her left arm just below her shoulder, according to her website.
She was 13 years old, and she lost 60 percent of her blood from the accident. There followed several surgeries within the next week, according to I Am Rogue. But one month after the attack, she was back in the water trying to surf, her website reported.
She got her skills back in two months, and competed in the Open Women’s division surf competition, where she placed fifth. She won her first National Title shortly after one year, landing first place in the 2005 NSSA National Championships in the Explorer Women’s Division, her web site said.
Soul Surfer stars Anna Sophia Robb, who plays the part of Bethany Hamilton. Robb said that Hamilton was a great help in fleshing out the role. Robb told Just Jared, “She is not scared to talk about her arm. No question is off limits with her. It’s just so wonderful that she is so receptive because as an actor, I want to portray her as real as possible.”
Hamilton said of Robb, “I’m stoked to have her play me. I never thought I would actually find someone to play me that would do it justice. I had such high expectations. I didn’t know who could fill this role and she did an amazing job. She’s the girl for me, I guess (laughs),” according to Just Jared.
Hamilton also said she was delighted to have a movie made about her. She told Just Jared, “Having my life being made into an hour and a half movie is amazing. I never would have thought a movie would be made about me, but it’s happening and it’s real.”
Helen Hunt and Dennis Quaid play the parts of Hamilton’s parents, Cheri and Tom. Quaid told Just Jared that he was impressed with Robb’s work. “You could not ask for anyone better to play this part. She is so dedicated as an actress and very natural. You don’t really feel like she’s acting and that makes everyone else better as well.”
Also in the movie is American Idol winner and country singer Carrie Underwood, who plays her first film role as Sarah Hill, a church youth leader who helps Hamilton to strengthen her faith amid the trauma, according to I Am Rogue.