Fifteen years after they teamed up to make “The Room,” a cult classic that many film pundits consider one of the worst movies ever made, director/writer/actor Tommy Wiseau and actor Greg Sestero, who were portrayed last year by James and Dave Franco in the critically-acclaimed “The Disaster Artist,” are at it again.
This time, the real-life best friends are reuniting for the first time since “The Room” debacle for “Best F(r)iends: Volume One,” a buddy crime flick written by Sestero and starring him and Wiseau in the lead roles. Sestero plays Jon, a homeless man panhandling on the streets of Los Angeles, who develops a friendship with Harvey (Wiseau), an eccentric mortician, who invites him back to his morgue to lend him a hand. Soon, the two find themselves caught up in a scheme revolving around the selling of the gold dental scraps Harvey removes from the dead bodies.
I caught up with Wiseau via phone while he was attending the Gasparilla International Film Festival in Tampa Bay late last month. We talked about how his talent has grown as an actor, if he feels Hollywood has finally embraced him and why negative reviews of “The Room” are OK with him.
Do you think “Best F(r)iends” could earn the same kind of following “The Room” did?
I have no idea what happens. I stay away from criticizing my best friend’s movie, which is called “Best F(r)iends.” I want people to see “Best F(r)iends” and say what they think about it. I’m just one person. Move on, next question.
Do you feel you’ve become a better actor in the last 15 years? Do you feel like you’ve picked up some skills you didn’t have before?
This is good question. I commend you for it. I would say the most skills you have, the better. If I could talk to all the actors in the world, I personally think people would be with me. It’s a process of learning. Anytime you have new project, I always learn something. So, to answer your question, absolutely. Acting is very complex. It’s not easy to do it, as you probably know. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. Move on, next question.
Why do you think you and Greg work so well together? What makes you good collaborators?
Ah, that’s good question, too. I cannot give you all the secrets. Move on, next question.
I recently saw your audition where you play the Joker. If someone gave you the opportunity to play an iconic character like that, would you take that chance?
Thank you for that question. The answer is yes. Absolutely. I’m ready. The question is, are they ready for Tommy Wiseau? But back to your question about collaboration. We have a lot of good chemistry between me and Greg. Sometimes it’s difficult to work with actors. It’s not easy. OK, two more minutes, two more questions.
Would you ever want to sit down and try writing another script for a feature film?
I have two scripts on my desk that are completed. One of them called “Vampire from Alcatraz.” The other one, I can’t tell you right now, but the answer is yes.
Do you feel like you are part of Hollywood now? Do you feel like you are part of that world?
That’s a good question. I tell you, you have very good questions. Uh, you know, let other people decide. You can ask other people. I am very respectful to studio system and I think they are very respectful towards us. That’s all I can tell you.
For those people who have never seen “The Room,” would you recommend it?
I am very respectful person towards everybody. In the past two years, we are very happy with all the media. We had really good positive reaction. Let me stress, I don’t talk only about positive reaction. There’s nothing wrong when people say, “Hey, I don’t like ‘The Room.’” I like when people are sincere. I always encourage people to see “The Room” and see what you think about it and give us a good critique. Negative is OK, too.
Were you disappointed James Franco didn’t end up getting an Oscar nomination for portraying you in “The Disaster Artist?”
It’s not for me to decide if he should get it. I think recognition has been done to “The Disaster Artist” as well to “The Room” global-wide. “The Disaster Artist” was very successful, and it keeps going. You shouldn’t expect too much. It’s not nice to criticize because he didn’t get it. It would be nice to get recognition, of course. That’s given. That’s what we work for – to be recognized. But I think if you give a message to people and people love you for it, I think it’s more important than recognition as far as I’m concerned.