Oh Hi Everyone!
I hope everyone had a great Christmas and new year. I have a confession to make; I bought this book for my husband for Christmas, because I knew he wanted to read it, but also because I really, really wanted to read it myself.
This book is a behind the scenes view of the making of The Room, which is the best bad film ever made. If you haven’t seen the film, and don’t believe me, watch this Hilariocity review by Chris Stuckman.
The film was written by, produced by and starring the amazing Tommy Wiseau. Tommy Wiseau is just one of those characters you can’t make up. Greg Sestero became friends with Tommy in San Francisco, and thus begins one of the greatest tales of friendship, ambition, and really bad filmmaking.
From the blurb:
From the actor who lived through the most improbable Hollywood success story, with an award-winning narrative nonfiction writer, comes the inspiring, fascinating and laugh-out-loud story of a mysteriously wealthy outsider who sundered every road block in the Hollywood system to achieve success on his own terms—the making of The Room, “the Citizen Kane of bad movies” (Entertainment Weekly).
In 2003, an independent film called The Room—written, produced, directed, and starring a very rich social misfit of indeterminate age and origin 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. Now in its tenth anniversary year, The Room is an international phenomenon to rival The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Thousands of fans wait in line for hours to attend screenings complete with costumes, audience rituals, merchandising, and thousands of plastic spoons.
Readers need not have seen The Room to appreciate its costar Greg Sestero’s account of how Tommy Wiseau defied every law of artistry, business, and interpersonal relationships to achieve the dream only he could love. While it does unravel mysteries for fans, The Disaster Artist is more than just an hilarious story about cinematic hubris: It is ultimately a surprisingly inspiring tour de force that reads like a page-turning novel, an open-hearted portrait of a supremely enigmatic man who will capture your heart.
As I mentioned before, Greg met Tommy in San Francisco; they were both at an acting class. Tommy did a scene for the class, and made some interesting choices in his performance. The teacher wasn’t impressed. Greg was, more by Tommy’s general nonchalance in the face of criticism than his acting chops, but impressed nonetheless.
The two became friends, if you can be friends with someone who won’t tell you anything about themselves, and when Tommy made his dream to produce a Hollywood movie come true, of course he called on his best friend.
There were so many parts that I highlighted when reading this book, that I eventually stopped because I knew there were too many to mention in this review, but here are some of my favourites:
1.When Greg and Tommy are playing football in the park.
“This park is perfect place for vampire” Tommy said, looking around happily. “I think vampire from Alcatraz live here”.
I had nothing to say to that.
2. When Greg goes to Tommy’s apartment for the first time.
Tommy admitted he had no idea what that (zodiac killer) symbol meant. At least I now knew that Tommy was (probably) not going to murder me when we got to his condo.
3. Tommy’s business cards:
“He Can Do Your Project (or Be Part of It) Well, with Passion and Dedication.” The last was generally accepted among The Room’s cast and crew as the most extraordinary document anyone had ever seen.
4. Tommy’s acting decisions.
Take after take, Tommy/Jonny would react to the story of this imaginary woman’s hospitalisation with fond and accepting laughter.
5. More vampires…
“How do you always do that?” I asked him.
“Know exactly when to wake up?”
“Vampire Trick,” Tommy said.
6. Tommy’s unique approach to leaving voicemail messages.
In the middle of all this, Tommy was leaving me at least two messages a day. His messages had always been pretty out there, but now they became somehow aggressively out there: “Hey, yo, I just saw this movie The Firm. You run exactly like the Tom Cruise, for your information,” Or: “‘Hey, Lady! Shut Up!’ What movie is this from? I challenge you.” Or: “I eat oranges in bed now. Feels so good. You should try it sometime with your French girl. Call me!”
There are also sections of the book where you see a softer, lonely side of Tommy, and actually feel sorry for him. This is the weirdest, sweetest book about an unlikely friendship.
I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below- have you seen The Room? You really should watch it before the film of this book, The Masterpiece with James Franco and Bryan Cranston comes out this year.