It was almost a year ago that Jewel announced she would play June Carter Cash in the Lifetime movie 'Ring of Fire,' based on the book 'Anchored in Love' by John Carter Cash, the only son of June and Johnny Cash. With the release date less than two months away, the singer acknowledges that taking on the life story of one of her heroes was more difficult than she anticipated.

"It sort of stunned me, as I had a baby about eight months before, and had no plans of acting," Jewel tells Billboard magazine, adding that she took the role because of the persistence of Asylum Entertainment President Jonathan Koch. " I tried to talk him out of it, but he seemed very determined to have me. I told him I would probably ruin my career, but he wanted me to do it anyway."

The singer says it was the diversity and complexity of the role that made it so appealing to her.

"The reason I accepted it was that it was such a challenge," she notes. "I did a lot of acting a long time ago in 'Ride With the Devil' with Ang Lee [Oscar-winning director of 'Life of Pi'], and had read a bunch of scripts after that. It was usually the girlfriend of somebody, and really not that interesting, when you have a full time career and the demands of that. The script for this was one of those rare chances where you actually had a real dramatic role. There were a lot of highs and lows with it, and it was such an opportunity. I was excited to see if I could do it or fail."

The songstress says some aspects of the role were less challenging than others.

"The singing scenes were easy for me to do because I'm a singer," she explains. "Those scenes weren't a big stretch for me, except that I had to perform them not as myself. My mannerisms and my posture had to be someone else. Being a musician probably helped me the most in the studio. But, other than that, I never tackled her as a musician per se. It was about June and her life, and the challenges she faced as a human, a wife, and as a mother rather than her life as a musician."

"Ring of Fire," which also stars Matt Ross as Johnny Cash and Frances Conroy as Mother Maybelle Carter, will debut on Monday, May 27 at 8:00 PM ET on Lifetime.