Audience flocked to see the real life story of Bethany Hamilton portrayed on the silver screen in "Soul Surfer" over the weekend. The film debuted in fourth place with $11.1 million beating out the star-studded film "Your Highness" with the likes of Natalie Portman and James Franco.
"Soul Surfer" tells the true story of champion surfer Hamilton, who lost her arm in a shark attack in 2003, when she was 13 years old. Hamilton was surfing with friends in Hawaii when a 14-foot tiger shark ripped off her left arm and "Soul Surfer" follows her recovery and triumphant return to the sport she loves. AnnaSophia Robb plays Hamilton in the film while Carried Underwood makes her acting debut as Sarah Hill, a church youth pastor. Helen Hunt and Dennis Quaid co-star as Hamilton's parents.
"I guess you can interpret the name in different ways," Hamilton said in an interview with OnTheRedCarpet.com host Chris Balish about the film's title. "For me I just believe that it's something that you're just very passionate about surfing and no matter what the circumstance you just want to go out there and do it and enjoy it. Just be the best surfer you can be, not caring what other people think. "
Hamilton says that the book, called "Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board," which the film is based off of "really inspired young kids especially and I would get stories of parents saying 'Oh my kid would never read until they got your book.'"
She adds, "For me, I'm just doing what I love. I love surfing and I love competing and being out there - one arm or two- I'm out there doing it. It's pretty exciting to share my story and hopefully encourage other people. "
Hamilton still competes regularly in surfing competitions and was also the subject of a 2007 documentary "Heart of a Soul Surfer." She has done press tours and continues to do speaking engagements.
"I get a wide variety of questions," Hamilton said about being interviewed. "It's always fun when you hear from a kid and they're doing a school report on me or a book report on me. They'll just have random little questions like 'What's your favorite color?' That's kind of my favorite question because it's easy. I love blue. "