Master of disaster

WHAT’S the worst film you’ve ever seen?

I can almost guarantee it’s nowhere near as bad as The Room, Tommy Wiseau’s self-funded disasterpiece, starring his friend and acolyte Greg Sestero.

Often described as the Citizen Kane of bad movies, The Room got a critical drubbing when it was released in 2003 and more laughs than Bob Katter’s take on same-sex marriage.

Wiseau spent $6 million making the romantic drama, but it only took $1800 at the box office.

What happened next is difficult to fathom.

The Room became a cult phenomenon and continues to screen to packed audiences across the world, including Perth’s Luna Cinemas, where the film has run for the last five years.

In 2013, Sestero released his book The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, documenting his experiences working on the infamous turkey.

• Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) and Tommy Wiseau (James Franco) in The Disaster Artist. Images supplied

Hollywood actor James Franco loved the book and decided to make it into a movie, The Disaster Artist, released in Australia later this month.

“God bless those fans, man,” Sestero told the Voice. “They’ve really turned this thing into what it is. Three weeks after the book came out I had a call from James [Franco].

“James had never seen The Room before. He read the book first which was great because I really wanted the book to stand alone from that film. It was a great feeling to know that he had read the book let alone wanted to make it into a movie.”

Sestero’s goal was to tell an inspiring story without ridiculing The Room and its creator Wiseau, who was convinced his film was going to make him the next Marlon Brando.

• Tommy Wiseau in a scene from The Room.

“The book was never meant to be about mocking anyone in any way, especially Tommy,” Sestero says.

“He is obviously very sensitive and I know he didn’t really care too much for the stuff regarding the way he behaved on set.

“I have a lot of respect for Tommy but I had to share the truth about my experience for the story to work. I’m sure there’s things in there that he’s not crazy about, but he calls the book the ‘Red Bible’, so he must like it.

• Greg Sestero

“Making The Room was very intense and The Disaster Artist has captured the spirit of my experience making that film and my friendship with Tommy Wiseau very well.”

The Disaster Artist stars Dave Franco as Greg Sestero, James Franco as Tommy Wiseau and Seth Rogen as Sandy Schklair.

It is showing at Luna Leederville from November 30.

by MATTHEW EELES

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