Opens in Dallas and Houston area Oct. 30
Former Texas Christian University running back Aundre Dean may no longer be playing under the lights at Amon G. Carter Stadium, but he’s now performing under a new kind of lights — the lights of a film set.
Dean stars in the film Carter High, whose red carpet premiere will be in Dallas on Oct. 27.
The film tells the story of the 1988 Dallas Carter High School football team, whose state championship title was taken away after five players on the championship team were sentenced to prison terms for involvement in a string of armed robberies. One of those players was defensive back Derric Evans, whom Dean portrays in the film.
Dean, who played at TCU from 2009-2012 and graduated with a broadcast journalism degree in 2013, wasn’t the only person with a football background on the set of Carter High. Former Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders defensive end Greg Ellis produced the film, while former Carter football player Arthur Muhammad wrote and directed. Muhammad, a Southern Methodist University alumnus, has won several awards from film festivals, including “Best Film” for his movie Solitaire at the Dallas Black Film Festival.
The film also stars Charles S. Dutton, who starred opposite Sigourney Weaver in Alien 3; Vivica A. Fox of Independence Day and Kill Bill fame; and Pooch Hall, known for TV roles in BET’s The Game and Showtime’s Ray Donovan.
Carter High will open in select theaters in the Dallas and Houston area on Oct. 30. In November, the film will open in select cities nationwide.
Dean took some time to chat with Fort Worth Business about the movie and how he was able to translate the football skills he learned at TCU onto the big screen.
While you were at TCU, you played football and studied broadcast journalism. What made you decide to pursue acting?
I’ve always wanted to pursue acting. That was the reason I went to UCLA out of high school. Ended up transferring because the original coach I went to play for got fired.
Being a former football player, did your role in Carter High come more naturally to you than others?
The football stuff was obviously natural, but the movie is not all about football. It’s super emotional.
You played running back at TCU but play a defensive back in Carter High. Was it difficult to learn the nuances of the new position for the film?
Funny thing is Coach [Gary] Patterson actually wanted me to play safety at TCU. I tried it for a few months and ended up going back to running back, so I have to thank Patterson for teaching me how to backpedal a little bit.
Tell me about the character you play in the film. In what ways did you relate — and not relate — to Derric?
We are similar in that we both played high school football at the highest level. I was, too, a Parade All-American and won a 5A state championship at Katy High School. We are different in that I knew I was the best high school running back in Texas, but I was humble. Derric was the cockiest dude on the team. He knew he was the best, and he told you. But what makes it great is that he backed it up every single time he touched the field. I commend him for that.
What’s the funniest or most memorable moment you had on set?
Most fun was hanging out and getting to know Pooch Hall [Hall plays Coach Arvis Vonner in the movie], especially since I grew up watching The Game. We actually drove down to Austin. He was hosting a party one weekend we weren’t filming.
What was it like working with actors like Vivica A. Fox and Charles S. Dutton?
Didn’t have very much communication with Vivica A. Fox. She’s beautiful and been doing this since I was born. It was just an honor. Charles S. Dutton was just a cool guy. He told me I was a good actor and to always remember that acting “is a marathon, not a sprint.” I truly understand that now that I’m in LA.
What’s the biggest thing you learned from working on this film?
Acting is hard work. It takes some long days and long nights to make a good film. But it’s worth it.
What do you hope audiences can take from watching Carter High?
Basically for every decision you make in life, good or bad, there is a consequence. So have fun, but choose wisely with the decisions you make because one mistake can cost you everything.
Have you heard any reaction from TCU about the upcoming movie? Will Coach Patterson be watching it?
Yes, a lot of students are excited about it. I’ve received Facebook messages and Instagram messages about it. I doubt that Coach Patterson will be there. They play West Virginia that Thursday, so he’ll be getting prepared I’m sure.