“Let me stop you right there,” said Tommy Wiseau, the mastermind behind “The Room.” He doesn’t want to think about how his long-awaited moment of Hollywood glory may have been cut short when James Franco faced accusations of sexual misconduct shortly after he accepted a Golden Globe for his performance in “The Disaster Artist.” Nor is he interested in the lawsuit filed by Franco’s former UCLA student, Ryan Moody, over an associate producing credit on the film. “This has nothing to do with us, let’s talk about the topic of positive thinking.”
What followed was an extended lecture on how “respect equals success,” and “negative always creates negative. This is my new thing for 2018.”
And ultimately, “The Disaster Artist” was nothing but positive for Wiseau and his best friend, “The Room” costar Greg Sestero, who said it provided “a great learning experience of what it’s like to make a good film.”
So much so that he wanted to try again, with Wiseau. Sestero wrote and co-produced “Best F(r)iends,” a two-part dark comedy about a road trip they took up the California Coast. Wiseau plays a mortician, a foil to Sestero’s drifter. Part one will screen in 600 theaters on March 30 and April 2, while the follow-up is set for a June 1 and 4 release.
“I’d been inspired by a lot of the new wave of TV shows like ‘Breaking Bad’ and kind of those noir-type thrillers,” said Sestero, who also referenced the works of Alfred Hitchcock and Tennessee Williams. “I thought it would be really interesting to try to make that, try to tap into a story and make something with Tommy and put him in a role that I think he could really shine in.”
Acknowledging that “The Room” never graced a best-of list, Wiseau added that Franco “took the risk, and I think that just because he was serious and respectful towards Greg, and my persona, and my creation, audiences embraced ‘The Disaster Artist.’”
Sestero concurred, “People wanted to make this movie off of passion…This wasn’t treated as some spoof comedy that was taken lightly. You get to the set, and they were so into it and so organized, and it was just such a happy group of people working so hard.”
Until Simon & Schuster agreed to publish their memoir of making “The Disaster Artist,” Sestero said, “no one really got it,” with agents wondering, “‘What do we need to read a book about this movie [for?]?’” All along, Sestero’s goal was “really for the story to become its own great film,” so he studied books like “In Cold Blood,” “127 Hours,” and “Ed Wood: Nightmare of Ecstasy” before recapping how “The Room” tested his friendship with Wiseau.
“Even though it goes through so much turmoil and so much craziness, at the end, the story has kind of a happy ending,” said Sestero. “The characters prevail and they’re still very present. They didn’t turn to drugs or have tragedy; they’re here and they’re able to kind of get a piece of their dream, and I thought that was something I hadn’t heard before.”
“The Disaster Artist” is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital.