The Last Song will mark the debut of Miley Cyrus‘ first feature film that’s not Hannah Montana related. The young actress/singer has been in the public eye since her early teens and she’s gearing up to make a transition into more adult roles. What better way to to do that than with a tear jerking performance in the latest Nicholas Sparks movie?

While out doing promotion for the film, Cyrus spoke at a press conference and discussed the different things she learned while working with Last Song director Julie Anne Robinson. Her character Ronnie was no Hannah Montana and she had to perform a lot of emotional scenes that involved anger and sadness. Cyrus had to learn that crying wasn’t the key to pulling off a good sad scene, she had to do more.

Because this was my first film, the first thing I did, when I saw a sad scene was think, “Oh, my character would cry.” And, she was like, “No, the whole end of the film can’t just be crying. There has to be some type of dimension to it.” That was the biggest thing that I learned. You have to go deeper than that and realize what it’s going to be like, when you are watching an hour and a half film. You don’t just want to see one type of emotion.

Once she realized what she had to bring to the table, the actress knew what else she had to do to make her performance as Ronnie a success.

You want to see her getting through it, putting up her guard and trying to have strength. That was the biggest thing. Nicholas [Sparks] could have feared having me come on board because I wasn’t as experienced, but Julie Ann helped me do that. The crying scenes were easy. When she was torn up and sad, it was easy to bring tears and cry, but it’s a little bit harder to find something beyond that, and be able to see it in your eyes and your body language, and not necessarily just the obvious.

Like all Nicholas Sparks movies, there’s always that period of love lost, depression, and sadness followed by a moment of revelation. The big question here will be whether or not audiences will buy her take on the character. Playing someone a lot more edgier than her Disney based alter ego may prove to be a serious challenge, in this film she has a wrap sheet!

The Last Song hits theaters on March 31, 2010.

Do you think Miley Cyrus will be able to pull off such an emotional role?