Oscar-nominated Taraji P. Henson has boarded the sports drama From the Rough, playing a role inspired by Dr. Catana Starks, the first female head coach of an NCAA Division 1 men's team.
Gyre Entertainment is producing the film, in which Henson will play a fictionalized version of Starks named Cassandra Turner, who parlays a successful stint as coach of the women's swim team at a historically black college into a shot at building the men's golf team. With available black players scarce, Turner scours Europe, Australia and Asia for hidden talents and constructs a uniquely multi-racial team. (In real life, Starks was the golf coach at Tennessee State University.)
"This extraordinary film explores one's ability to transform life's rough circumstances into distinct advantages," said director-producer Pierre Bagley. "It confronts issues of race, gender, class and cultural barriers in ways that are provocative, and sometimes hilarious.
Michael A. Critelli wrote the screenplay.
Production begins filming in New Orleans in early October.