The film tells the tale of Dallas W. Carter High School’s successful yet controversial football program during the late 80s.
Known for playing spoiler to the Permian Panthers in “Friday Night Lights,” the Carter Cowboys won the first ever Dallas Independent School District state championship in 1988.
Amidst the success, Carter High School was plagued by the controversy of a robbery scandal involving several players. Dean said those players involved robbed 21 convenience stores and restaurants in six months.
“You’re looking at guys that have scholarships to go to Texas A&M, to go to Tennessee, to go all over the country, but they were just being reckless and careless and living that life,” Dean said.
“Every one of these players ended up going to prison. It’s crazy because you get these athletes before they really made it; that had a chance to go the next level and they lose it all.”
Carter High School had its title stripped by the University Interscholastic League in 1991 following the robbery scandal and eligibility issues.
“I looked at these guys who had a ton of talent, and the story takes us through their world,” film producer Ty Walker said. “They basically had everything right there in front of them, and these bad decisions took that from them.”
“It changed their whole world, their whole life, their whole careers.”
Currently slated for a 2016 release, according to IMDB, Walker said the film is wrapping up its production stage this week. The 24-day shooting of the film ends this weekend at the Cotton Bowl with production of all the movie’s football scenes.
“It’s very tiring,” Walker said. “You can just imagine what the guys go through on the field in a regular game and having to do that over and over and over and over.”
He rushed for nearly 700 yards on offense during his college career, but Dean switches to the defensive side of the ball in “Carter High,” playing safety Derric Evans.
“Coach Patterson wanted me to play safety,” Dean joked. “Now, I’m playing safety.”
“If you know me, I’m a real humble guy, but I’m not in the movie. Derric Evans was the absolute opposite of humble. This guy was chains, necklaces, gold, cocky, confident. He really thought he was the sh-t, and he was the sh-t.”
Evans accepted an athletics scholarship from the University of Tennessee and reportedly signed his letter of intent sitting in a hot tub. The former All-American went to jail before ever playing for the Volunteers though.
“He’s a good person at heart,” Dean said. “Just like all these guys. They’re just guys that made mistakes…I get a chance to meet [Evans] finally on Friday.”
Dean said the role allows him to remove some remorse he still holds for not playing defense with the Frogs.
“You never know how it could’ve went,” he said. “You never know what you could’ve learned, what you could’ve done to benefit the team. I’m still [thinking] ‘Ugh. Maybe I should’ve played safety.’”
Pooch Hall, who also stars as Daryll on Showtime’s Ray Donovan, plays Dean’s defensive coordinator Arvis Vonner.
“I’m really trying to help [Dean’s character] make sure he succeeds because I really feel he can play in the league,” Hall said. “He’s my favorite, and we have a special relationship.”
Hall said he channels the personalities of NFL coaches Bill Belichick, Jim Harbaugh, Pete Carroll and Hall of Famer Bill Parcells in his performance.
“That’s a great combo,” Hall said.
A Flash of Stardom
As for the former Escape Club star’s acting chops, both Walker and Hall raved of what they’ve seen from Dean so far.
“Aundre has a natural ability to perform, and it helps that he played football so everything comes natural as far as our scenes and the emotion,” Hall said.
Like Dean, Hall played college football before becoming an actor.
“We have an instant connection,” Hall said. “We know football. We know what it takes to win. We know what it takes to be a star athlete.”
Walker said Dean impressed him from the first time he met him in initial auditions.
“He brought it,” Walker said. “I remember on callbacks. He came back out, [and] read again for Derric, and I was like, ‘Man, this guy is good.’”
“But then he walked back in and was like, ‘Guys, I’m sorry. Do you mind if I do it again? I can give you more.’ I’m thinking like, ‘Wow. You just killed it.’ He [read it] again, and I couldn’t ask for a better person to be in this movie.”
Dean graduated from TCU with a degree in broadcast journalism and moved to Los Angeles after his reality television stint to focus on acting.
“He’s very coachable,” Walker said. “A lot of times in this business, you’ll meet a lot of guys who are like, ‘Oh, I’m a natural actor, blah blah blah.’ No. Aundre takes classes. He takes courses. He learns from people. He wants to continue learning from people.”
“At the end of the day, he’s just a solid guy and just a great actor with a whole lot of potential. I can promise you he’s gonna go far in this business.”
Mix in the up-and-coming actor with a few stars and the stage of Texas high school football, and hopes are high for the low-budget production.
“We have something very special with this film, with these characters,” Hall said. “I think the audience is going to receive it, and I’m talking about everyone,” he said. It’s not a limited audience. It’s something very special that everyone can enjoy.”
Dean put it simply.
“It’s football. Everybody loves football.”
Those looking to star as extras in “Carter High” can get more information in the video below or at [email protected].
Aundre Dean: @AundreThaGiant
Pooch Hall: @iam_POOCHHALL.
Ty Walker: @tywalkeronline
“Carter High” Official Page: @CarterHighMovie