Director/screenwriter/producer/star Tommy Wiseau is very proud of his movie The Room, a film that has developed an impressive cult status since its initial release.
The film premiered in mid-2003 and left an impact on moviegoing communities. The film is baffling and has a confusing aura to it all…but it keeps drawing people in. Returning viewers are willing to bring their unbeknownst friends because “they just have to see it”. Because of these repeat viewings and this bizarre excitement it’s aroused, The Room has been popular during midnight screenings where patrons are encouraged to interact with the film. Some of these interactions include throwing spoons at the screen, reciting memorable lines, and playing catch with a football between you and your moviegoing buddy. Don’t worry, it’ll all make sense.
Wiseau’s passion project marks its 10th anniversary this year. For the anniversary, Wiseau and actor Greg Sestero (who plays the role of Mark) came to Toronto to celebrate the long-running event.
I was very fortunate to sit down with both men and talk shop about The Room, as well as other topics like Sestero’s upcoming book The Disaster Artist based on his experiences making the film, stage acting vs. acting in a film, and whether audience participation has gone too far or not.
Wiseau was vocal about how much he appreciates Toronto’s avid support for The Room and added that he loves Canada. When asked about when movie goers refer to The Room as “so bad, it’s good” or “the worst movie ever made”, Wiseau explained that he doesn’t necessarily listen to that feedback. It’s a film where people can take whatever they want from it and those who have embraced it have had a blast watching the filmmaker’s story unfold. “In the eighties, ‘bad’ really meant ‘good’. Like, if you’re ‘bad’, you’re ‘really good’,” Wiseau optimistically explained.
Listen to the interview below. The audio starts with Greg’s answer to my question, “Did you ever expect The Room to pick up this much steam? Could you have predicted a decade ago you’d be here?”:
Special thanks to GAT PR for organizing this interview.
UPDATE (12/06/17): The big-screen adaptation of Greg Sestero’s The Disaster Artist is now playing in Toronto. The film opens wider on Friday, December 8.
The screening of The Room at Toronto’s The Royal Cinema has passed, but find out more about monthly screenings of The Room at Toronto’s Carlton Cinema by visiting the theatre’s official site.