Movie stars coming to Houma


by Shane Thibodaux / Houma Courier Lifestyles Editor

Posted on February 11, 2012 at 1:11 PM

HOUMA, La. - Several Hollywood actresses are coming to downtown Houma early next week to film scenes for “The Hot Flashes,” a major motion picture set for release later this year.

The film stars Daryl Hannah, Brooke Shields, Melanie Griffith and Wanda Sykes as part of a basketball team of middle-aged Texas women, all who were former high school champs. The elder team challenges the current high school girls’ state champs to a series of games to raise money for breast cancer prevention.

“It’s great for downtown,” said Pat Gordon, director of planning and zoning for Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government. “Individuals we see downtown Houma on film and hopefully want to come here.”

Filming is set to begin at 7:30 a.m. Monday in downtown Houma in front of Le Petit Theatre de Terrebonne.

Gordon said, as of Friday afternoon, details were still being negotiated and finalized. He added that there are insurance requirements that need to be met before filming can commence.

“There’s a number of things we are trying to work through,” he said.

Laura Rosaly, a spokeswoman from the movie, confirmed that filming would begin Monday.

Karen Schilling, president of Le Petit Theatre’s board of directors, said she was hesitant about filming in the theater at first because of the theater’s preparation for its next production in the 2011-12 season, “The Cover of Life,” which opens March 1, a production Schilling is directing.

However, Schilling reconsidered after the production company agreed to pay a fee for the use of the theater. The money was deposited into the theater’s account and is earmarked for its remodeling program, hoping to address long-standing problems of access, restrooms and additional seating.

James Doiron, owner of Fabregas Music Store in downtown Houma, said filming is also planned behind the store near Bayou Terrebonne to give the feel of a bait shop for the film.

Other parts of the film are being filmed in LaPlace and other parts of the state.

Gordon said if the paperwork is finalized in time, one lane of traffic near Le Petit will be closed for filming for about an hour.

“They love Houma, they love Terrebonne and they love filming here,” he said.

This is Griffith’s second time in Houma. The first was in 1998, when she was filming “Crazy in Alabama” with her husband, Antonio Banderas.

“It’s just a reflection of how if you’re able to preserve your historic integrity in your downtown area, you will increase your productivity of film crews and films to be shot” in your area, Gordon said, adding that film crews “want to come back. They like that atmosphere, that historical environment with the old buildings.”