Bethany Hamilton Says Doc 'Unstoppable' Is Her Story "Beyond 'Soul Surfer'"
"There's so much more to my story that really hasn’t been shared, and people haven’t really seen the real me," champion surfer Hamilton told In Studio.
Champion surfer Bethany Hamilton has been in the public eye ever since she lost her arm to a tiger shark at the age of 13, only to come back and thrive in the surf community. Now, the 29-year-old is sharing her story in Aaron Lieber's documentary Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable.
While Hamilton's 2004 memoir Soul Surfer, made into a 2011 film of the same name with AnnaSophia Robb starring as the young surfer, gave audiences a peek into Hamilton's journey, she tells The Hollywood Reporter In Studio, "There's so much more to my story that hasn't been shared."
"The whole story behind Unstoppable when we first started creating it, the director and I had set out to make just a short film, like 12 minutes of me just action surfing. As we started to create the project, I think Aaron Lieber really wanted to share my story beyond Soul Surfer," she explained.
"People haven't really seen the real me, in a sense. So, we just set out to start making it into an actual documentary, just telling more of my story."
Throughout the years since the incident, Hamilton has become an inspiration and a legend in the surf community. She shares with In Studio how her impact on others pushes her, saying, "I'm often so driven because I'm constantly greeted by people who have had their lives changed by hearing my story, and to me, that's really motivating in a sense of I'm doing more than just living my life. I'm sharing it, and helping others along the way."
The surfer and mother of two is continuing to leave her mark on the younger generation with her Unstoppable Year program and "being more than just an inspiration."
"I've been working on a program for young people to overcome obstacles and live their unstoppable life on my website, and just get more out there in helping people and being more than just an inspiration, but equipping young people, like, 'Hey, how are you going to overcome when those tough speed bumps or shark bites come your way?'"
Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable is in theaters now.