FOX 8 LIVE has published a small article and 2 “Behind the scenes” videos of Tom’s new upcoming film “From the Rough”.
A behind the scenes peek at locally shot movie
New Orleans – A woman who grew up in Mobile, Alabama, indirectly has a hand in Tiger Wood’s success…and countless golfers around the world.
Her name is Catana Starks, the only woman ever to coach an NCAA Division 1 men’s golf team.
A movie called From the Rough, based on her remarkable career, was shot in New Orleans.
“The point is the legacy of golf. It’s been an exclusive and an exclusionary sport. It’s a mandate for how we live,” Director Pierre Bagley said.
Former Tennessee State Swim coach Catana Starks took on the challenge of coaching men’s golf in the 80’s. Her team became formidable on the course.
One of her former students is Tiger Woods’ new swing coach, Canadian Sean Foley.
Starks story was not widely known. By chance former Pitney Bowes CEO Mike Critelli heard it and was intrigued
“My younger son’s chess coach mentioned in passing to me that he had been part of a golf program at TSU. He’s white and Swedish,” Critelli said.
Coach Starks had trouble finding golfers who could be competitive at the predominately black college. She was forced to think outside the box.
There was a shrinking pool of black golfers not just for black colleges but any colleges.
She explored the talent pool of golfers overseas.
“The first couple of recruits that were Canadians could not have gone to school anywhere unless they had full scholarships. They chose Tennessee State because Starks devoted much of her budget to scholarships,” Critelli added.
He decided to make a movie about it.
Academy Award nominee Taraje P Henson plays Starks in the movie. Tom Felton of Harry Potter plays one of several international students in the film.
Raised in Mobile, Henson enjoyed Mardi Gras and other southern traditions, but also lived through the south’s bitter racial tensions.
“She’s a woman who had a tough background. At ten years old she walked past a lynched body and that shaped the rest of her life,” Bagley said.
Starks said she wasn’t even allowed on golf courses.
“I remember the guys would make holes in the field and pretend like we were hitting balls.”
The scars were deep, but she was tenacious . No one expected her to win as coach of men’s golf, but she did.
“I started thinking about how I wanted to be competitive. I’m tired of coming in last place in the Ohio Valley Conference. So, I went out and got talent,” Starks said.
Felton was thrilled to have her on set.
“It was a real treat especially on the golfing side of things. She was incredibly learned about golf. She made us all look like amateurs.
Henson called it intimidating when the character you’re playing is still alive because they can critique you.
“But she told me don’t worry about me and what I do and how I talk and how I walk, I am just interested in empowering women.”
“I’m officially a New Orleanian now,” said Henson as she gave her best southern drawl.
“I have friends down here I know all the spots to go to and It’s a beautiful city to visit.”
Henson cut her teeth on New Orleans while playing the role of Queenie in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
What she really likes to sink her teeth into is Jacque-Imos!
“If you would have told me two years ago I would have eaten anything with alligator in it I would have called you a liar. But that alligator cheesecake is incredible,” she says.
Felton enjoyed Emeril’s Delmonico, and director Pierre Bagley likes to eat and say etoufee’
“This is a great opportunity for us,” Bagley said. “I get energy every day I wake up and walk on Magazine. It feels right.
“I understand the spirit everybody’s talking about to be able to capture that spirit after so much has happened after the oil spill, I get it,” Henson said.
FOX 8 got to meet the real coach Catana Starks. Henson plays her character, she came from Nashville to see her movie life unfold.
“The memories of bringing my team here to participate in UNO’s golf tournament every spring come to me. It was a wonderful tournament. When you say we’re going to New Orleans, everybody wanted to go.