The Disaster Artist, understanding the author of “The Room”

I recently finished reading “The Disaster Artist”, the book that tells the story of how the rare movie “The Room” was made. I found it interesting, funny and very original.

If you enjoy those movies so bad that they are good, you’ll know that “The Room” is considered probably the best one (sort of speaking) among them. But you may not know that Greg Stereo, the actor who played Mark (“oh, hai Mark“) wrote a book about his experience in relation to the movie. The Disaster Artist tells us how Greg met Tommy Wiseau, how they became friends, and why Greg developed a strong loyalty towards such a strange person.

the room roof johnny and mark

Greg Stereo, playing Mark, in the famous roof dialogue scene. Behind him, Tommy Wiseau playing Johnny.

Through the book we learn that Tommy Wiseau surrounds himself with a coat of mystery so deep that no one really knows where he’s from or how did he become rich (the book gives many clues, but makes it clear that Greg Sestereo could never really confirm anything, despite having shared a flat with Tommy for months). It shows Wiseau as a difficult character, a bit paranoid and with very crazy ideas about how to become a Hollywood star.

We learn that one of the best worst scenes of the movie took more than 3 hours to film, even though it only lasts 7 seconds, because Tommy was unable to say his line and look at another actor at the right time. It mentions that Tommy decided to buy all of the equipment (instead of renting it) as well as to record at the same time with a film camera and with a digital one. Thanks to this, to an unnecessarily long casting process, and to Tommy’s obsession with everyone being present at the studio every single day (including actors that weren’t supposed to be filming that day), the film’s budget went up all the way to six million dollars.

But The Disaster Artist also shows us the more human side of Tommy Wiseau. He had a childhood dream, and he decided to chase it even after he became rich doing something else. He’s a Brando and James Dean fan, who writes a story in which he gets everything he doesn’t know how to get in real life: lots of friends, a pretty girlfriend and everybody’s respect and admiration (so his unhappiness can only be caused by an undeserved betrayal, not because of anything he did). We see a person with a very unrealistic vision of both the art of cinema and himself.

Beacuse of this, The Disaster Artist is a book I recommend without any reservation. From the funniest to the creepiest anecdotes, everything told in this book makes it for a very entertaining reading experience. Seth Rogen’s studio bought the rights to turn the book into a movie (just like Tim Burton did with Ed Wood), which is being produced this year, with the Franco brothers in the main roles. We can only hope it’s as good as the book.

    Related Posts

    Sinister: when the supernatural spoils the horror
    Pride & Prejudice & Zombies: the drama with comedy plot
    Orson Welles and the forgotten art of Deep Focus
    Zootopia/Zootropolis and the drama plot in comedy

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *