(NBC) - Miley Cyrus is putting "Hannah Montana" behind her.
She stars in author, Nicholas Sparks' latest story 'The Last Song'. Cyrus plays a character that's forced to balance her first love with the news her father is terminally ill. Her character is a musician, mentored by her father and says it hit close to home.
"It definitely did", Cyrus said. "There were so many moments that I feel like genuinely could have been in my life, and I think music in the film had a big part of that, just about how people connect in that way."
While filming Cyrus connected with her leading man, Liam Hemsworth.
"It was terrible to work with her", Hemsworth joked. "She's a bad person, and hated the whole process. Just kidding, it was awesome, she's incredible."
The movie also marks the first time author Nicholas Sparks wrote a story with an actress in mind to play his lead character.
"When I first started, I tried to come up with the idea, I of course talked to Miley, came up with things she wanted to do and didn't want to do", Sparks said. "Just her own thoughts to get to know her as a person and then come up with the story."
And for Miley 'Last Song' was a natural next step in her career.
"One day I had to move on from Hannah Montana, I can't do it forever", Cyrus said. "At a point it just becomes unrealistic of how long the secret could go on, and how old you can really be to do that and we gave it a really good run."
Greg Kinnear and Kelly Preston play Cyrus' big screen parents.