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Carrie Underwood on SOUND OF MUSIC: 'I Knew I Had the Furthest to Go'

In an article in yesterday's New York Post, Carrie Underwood shared her thoughts on starring in NBC's upcoming live broadcast of THE SOUND OF MUSIC this December. "I knew I had the furthest to go" [of anybody in the cast], said Underwood who has been working with dialect and acting coaches for her upcoming role of iconic governess Maria.

Praised Craig Zadan, one of the show's producers, "She's one of those people who showed up the first day and knew every line of the script and every note of every song. She's an unbelievably hard worker."

The upcoming production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic will not be a duplicate of the 1965 film starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. Explains Zadan, "We would never propose to do a remake of the movie. It's sacrosanct. Nobody really knows the play and the differences between the play and the movie. We got excited by the idea of exposing a new generation to the play."

The 'Smash' producer also wanted to ensure that this production's 'Maria' had a built-in fan base, and Underwood, who won Season 4 of American Idol before going on to country music fame, fit the casting bill to a tee. "I think it's very important, especially in a piece like this, a musical that deals with religion and nuns, that she has that fan base," Zadan says. "There's an element in faith-based belief in the show. The spirituality in the show lends itself to Carrie's core audience."

Underwood is completely open to learning and adapting her ways to conform to the structure of the Rodgers and Hammerstein's score. "I like instructions, I like directions," she reveals. "People freak out when I'm on time."

As far as the beloved musical's iconic songs, Underwood feels right at home with tunes such as "The Lonely Goatherd." "I've been yodeling my whole life, growing up listening to Kitty Wells and The Carter Family." And it doesn't hurt to be surrounded by some of Broadway biggest talents, including Audra McDonald and Laura Benanti. Gushed the Grammy-winning singer, "When they sang, I thought, 'This is what heaven's going to sound like.'"

"The Sound of Music" will be presented as a live three-hour broadcast and will air on December 5 on NBC. Five-time Grammy winner Carrie Underwood will star in the coveted role of Maria Von Trapp. Acclaimed British actor Stephen Moyer, best known to U.S. audiences for his role as Bill Compton in HBO's "True Blood, will portray decorated World War I hero Capt. Georg Von Trapp.

From Universal Television, "The Sound of Music" is executive produced by Neil Meron and Craig Zadan. Beth McCarthy-Miller and Rob Ashford will serve as directors. The live holiday production will be based on the original 1959 Broadway production of "The Sound of Music," which starred Mary Martin and Theodore Bikel. The play won the Tony Award as best musical and Martin won as best actress.

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