Tim McGraw wants to get one thing straight: He is a country singer first and foremost. To be sure, his acting resume is beginning to look as impressive as his singing one, but he remains loyal to the music.

"Oh, I'm a country singer," Tim said during a recent press junket for the upcoming film, 'Country Strong.' "Look, I still got three daughters. There's a lot of shoes to buy, I've got to pay my bills. I'd like to be considered an actor also, but music is my first love. I wouldn't have had any opportunities to be in movies had it not been for music and I don't want to ever forget that and I don't want anyone else to ever forget that."

While he intends to stay true to his country roots, Tim says he's hoping that the more he acts, the more people are able to separate the actor from the singer. "Hopefully I'm getting past that now, but probably any director or producer or casting agent that looks to put me in a movie, their first thought is am I going to be a distraction to the movie, because you don't want anybody coming in the film and every scene I'm in saying, 'Isn't that the guy who sings country?' If that starts happening, you sort of ruin the movie. So I know that's a fear that anybody has in hiring me and hopefully that's going away."

In fact, he's been open in revealing that was the very reason he turned down the role as artist manager James Canter in 'Country Strong,' not once, but twice. "To put myself in a movie that's sort of based in country music, I thought initially that it would be too much to ask of an audience to to separate the two," Tim says. "I really thought there'd be no way that people could go see the movie and see me as as character and not just constantly think of it as me being me."

He says his credentials as a country superstar were not needed when it came to helping co-stars Gwyneth Paltrow, who plays country star Kelly Canter, or Garrett Hedlund, who portrays newcomer Beau Hutton, know how to play before an adoring audience.

"I don't think I had to convey it. For one thing, Gwyneth is married to one of the biggest rock stars in the world," Tim said, referring to Coldplay's Chris Martin. "His audience is way bigger than mine, so I think she's experienced quite a bit of that and knows first hand how that is from her husband's point of view."

As for Garrett, he trained himself by playing live in Nashville. "He went around town, he'd get up on songwriter's nights an perform," Tim says. "He got a taste of it. He knew what it would feel like before [filming] started."

'Country Strong' opens in Nashville and Los Angeles on December 22. The film hits theaters nationwide on January 7. Tim is currently in the Top 5 with his latest single, 'Felt Good on My Lips.'

Tim McGraw - 'Country Strong' Movie Preview