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From Scratch is based on a heartbreaking true story

October 31, 2022

*WARNING: Spoilers ahead for From Scratch*

Movies and TV series based on real events often elicit a different range of emotions than conventional dramas because the story being told is known to have actually happened to real people.

Such is the case with Netflix’s latest romantic drama, From Scratch, which stars Zoe Saldaña as her character, Amy, who only meets the love of her life only to have the relationship end in tragedy.

The series quickly made its way to the top 10 trending lists on Netflix, which attracted many fans who wondered about the real story that inspired From Scratch.


From scratch | official trailer

BridTV11310From zero | Official Trailer

From Scratch release date and plot preview

From Scratched sailed on Netflix on Friday, October 21, 2022.

The eight-episode series tells the story of Amahle ‘Amy’ Wheeler, an American student studying abroad in the picturesque Italian city of Florence.

Amy’s time in Italy takes an unexpected turn when she meets and falls in love with Lino, a Sicilian chef, but their whirlwind romance runs into many obstacles ranging from different cultural backgrounds to disapproving parents.

However, the biggest test of their relationship comes when Lino’s health throws the couple’s future into question, prompting their respective families to stick together, proving that love crosses all boundaries.

Eugenio Mastrandrea as Lino Ortolano, Zoe Saldana as Amy Wheeler in From Scratch Episode 101From Scratch © Netflix | Philip Antonello

The true story of From Scratch

As the From Scratch credits reveal, the series is based on the memoir, From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily and Finding Home, by actress Tembekile ‘Tembi’ Locke.

However, it should be noted that several names and the exact timeline of events have been changed in some areas for dramatic purposes as well as to avoid making it an exact recreation of the tragic events of Tembi’s past.

Like Amy on the show, Tembi moved to Italy to study and during her travels she fell in love with her future husband, Rosario ‘Saro’ Gullo.

As the story of the series takes place in the early 2000s, the real Tembi and Saro got married in 1995 and later adopted a child together, a girl named Zoela.

Tembi and Saro’s life changed forever in 2002 when Gullo was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called leiomyosarcoma which affects the smooth muscles of the hollow organs of the body including the intestines, stomach, bladder and blood vessels.

After ten years of treatment, Saro died in 2012.

In the years that followed, Tembi and Zoela visited Saro’s house in Sicily on several occasions, which later inspired her memoir which was published in April 2019.

Zoe Saldana as Amy Wheeler, Eugenio Mastrandrea as Lino Ortolano in From Scratch Episode 103From Scratch © Netflix | Stefano Montesi

The creators discuss the origins of the series

Along with writing the original memoir, Tembi Locke is also one of the series’ co-creators alongside his sister, Attica.

As a television writer and producer, it was Attica who was responsible for pitching the television adaptation of From Scratch to Reese Witherspoon’s production company Hello Sunshine.

Speaking to Netflix’s Tudum, the pair revealed how the TV adaptation came about, with Tembi saying: “Attica was like, ‘Don’t be mad, but I just introduced your book [as a TV show].’ I was like, ‘What?’ Because literally, it was still a manuscript.

“To share it, I felt very vulnerable, but I wrote [the memoir] from my heart, and this is another moment where I’m just going to take the leap from my heart,” Tembi added.

“I thought to myself, ‘How many times am I going to get a call like this in my life?'” she continued. “So I was like, ‘You know what? Attica just pushed us off the cliff. Let’s see if we’ll grow wings and fly.’”

Detailing the specifics of the TV adaptation, Attica said, “About 20% of it is hard fact. Some locations in our series – down to where things are placed on set and where people are standing – are exact mirror images of what actually happened.

Zoe Saldaña, Tembi Locke and Attica Locke attend Netflix's From Scratch special screening at Netflix Tudum Theater on October 17, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.From Scratch Premiere © Photo by Leon Bennett | Getty Images for Netflix

From Scratch is available to stream now on Netflix after its release on October 21, 2022.

The From Scratch post is based on a heartbreaking true story that first appeared on Juicee News.

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