The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made
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From the actor who somehow lived through it all, a “sharply detailed…funny book about a cinematic comedy of errors” (The New York Times): the making of the cult film phenomenon The Room.
In 2003, an independent film called The Room—starring and written, produced, and directed by a mysteriously wealthy social misfit named Tommy Wiseau—made its disastrous debut in Los Angeles. Described by one reviewer as “like getting stabbed in the head,” the $6 million film earned a grand total of $1,800 at the box office and closed after two weeks. Ten years later, it’s an international cult phenomenon, whose legions of fans attend screenings featuring costumes, audience rituals, merchandising, and thousands of plastic spoons.
Hailed by The Huffington Post as “possibly the most important piece of literature ever printed,” The Disaster Artist is the hilarious, behind-the-scenes story of a deliciously awful cinematic phenomenon as well as the story of an odd and inspiring Hollywood friendship. Greg Sestero, Tommy’s costar, recounts the film’s bizarre journey to infamy, explaining how the movie’s many nonsensical scenes and bits of dialogue came to be and unraveling the mystery of Tommy Wiseau himself. But more than just a riotously funny story about cinematic hubris, “The Disaster Artist is one of the most honest books about friendship I’ve read in years” (Los Angeles Times).
and we stepped inside. One bedroom. Balcony. The kitchen was large for one person, as was the living area. But for the dust, everything seemed clean and operable. Pinned to the entryway bulletin board was a single card: Sports Connection, a West Hollywood gym. Tommy strode ahead of me to turn on the air conditioner. Little by little, though, I noticed a few odd things. For instance, knee-high stacks of old Hollywood Reporters were spread around the living room, their covers advertising
felt certain everyone would revolt. These were the kinds of details that tended to escape Tommy’s notice. Tommy, finally, pulled away from the light. Within moments he was serenely piloting his Benz down Santa Monica, waiting for me to say something. “I can’t do it,” I said. He didn’t look over at me. “I always intended you to play the Mark. Okay. So you have to do it, you see. This is your chance. Don’t blow it. You will miss the boat.” Now he looked over at me. “What is your problem?” “Don
beard was a key component of my Room anonymity strategy. “No,” Tommy said insistently. “You have to shave. Just trust me.” “I never agreed to this.” “But it’s much better without! Much younger, much more American.” I thought of Amber, who was in San Diego at the time, and how much she hated my beard. She even kept a pre-beard picture of me in her purse to remind her what I used to look like. A clean-shaven boyfriend might be a nice surprise for her when she got back. Amy, the makeup artist,
Michelle and Lisa are best friends; Johnny’s other best friends all show up for his party—the whole script was like an advisory warning about the perils of having friends at all), about trust, about fear, about truth . . . Tommy’s life study of human interaction had been put into a Final Draft blender and sprinkled with the darkness of whatever he’d been living through over the last nine months. The one thing Tommy’s script wasn’t about, despite its characters’ claims? Love. I had a sobering,
Tommy’s delivery of his final line—“God, forgive me”—also fluctuated from take to take. In a couple of takes he whispered it, in a couple he said it with no emotion at all, and a couple came out like this: “Why? Why? Ahhhhh! God. Oh, my God! Ahhhh! Forgive Me!” Bang. Blood splatter. Tommy was still kneeling there. Then, all at once, he collapsed. Byron was behind the camera, glowering under his backward baseball cap, looking more and more like an embattled Little League coach. “Come on,” Byron