Dennis Quaid has nothing but praise for his young co-star AnnaSophia Robb in the upcoming film "Soul Surfer," which opens on April 8.
In the film, which is based on a true story, Quaid plays Tom Hamilton the father of 19-year-old champion surfer Bethany Hamilton (played by Robb), who lost her arm in a shark attack in 2003. Robb might be best known for playing Violet Beauregarde in the 2005 movie "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."
"She made me better. I know that," the actor said about Robb. "Acting is reacting and she's an amazing actress. She can just do anything. She's totally fearless and spontaneous. She's got a big career ahead of her."
As for what message the audience can get from the film, he says, "Life is good. I think that's the general message, that life throws up barriers." Quaid added, "Unfair things happen to you that you didn't deserve but it's how you handle them. Do you give up or go on? You can turn it into a positive."
Since the film centers on surfing, the actor says he had to get in shape for the role but adds that he didn't really need to hit the gym too hard. "Surfing is training. It really is. You get out there on the board and you start to paddle and you realize 'oh my god. This is exercise!' It really is. It's hard," he said. "It was daunting but it was a lot of fun."
Helen Hunt plays Quaid's wife in the film and the movie also stars Craig T. Nelson, Jeremy Sumpter and marks the acting debut of Carrie Underwood.