A Minute With: Carrie Underwood climbs 'Sound of Music' mountain

Tue Dec 3, 2013 8:06am EST
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By Jill Serjeant

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Despite just a handful of acting roles to date, country singer and "American Idol" winner Carrie Underwood was the first choice to play the coveted lead role of Maria in a new live version of "The Sound of Music" for television.

Since winning "Idol" in 2005, Underwood, 30, has taken the country music scene by storm with hits like "Before He Cheats," and "Jesus, Take the Wheel," winning six Grammys and more than 100 other music awards. But the singer will take on more than just singing as she plays the von Trapp's musical governess in the live NBC broadcast on Thursday.

"She is the right type, the right age, she has the right vocal quality, she is beautiful and she has massive experience doing live performing. Carrie is the perfect person to play that character," co-producer Craig Zadan told Reuters.

Underwood spoke with Reuters ahead of the December 5 broadcast about taking on a challenge like Maria.

Q: Have you always been a fan of "The Sound of Music?" Is it something you grew up with?

A: Yes! I can't even tell you first time I saw it. I feel like it's been around since birth for me. It was part of my growing up ... anytime it would come on TV, my mom and I would sit together and cuddle up in the bed and watch it together so it has a lot of very dear memories for me.

Q: After all these years, what do you think is the show's biggest appeal?

A: It really has everything. (Composers Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein) really knew what they were doing. You have the love story, action, suspense - there is a lot more of that in the stage version than in the movie with all the changes that are happening in Austria. You also have these unforgettable songs. That's the thing that sticks with you after you have seen it.   Continued...

Carrie Underwood performs a medley of songs at the 47th Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tennessee November 6, 2013. REUTERS/Harrison McClary