Wiseau rev­els in Dis­as­ter

Fans queue for hours to see homage to no­to­ri­ous film

Metro Canada (Toronto) - - LIFE - TORSTAR NEWS SER­VICE

In hon­our of what many con­sider the great­est worst movie ever made, zeal­ous devo­tees of the cult clas­sic The Room lined up for as long as 10 hours for a Mid­night Madness glimpse at James Franco’s homage The Dis­as­ter Artist on Mon­day night.

As the Toronto In­ter­na­tional Film Festival queue wrapped around Ry­er­son The­atre, fans in cus­tom The Room T-shirts clutched The Room-themed bob­ble­heads while a pro­mo­tional team dressed in frizzy black Tommy Wiseau wigs dis­trib­uted plas­tic spoons and toy foot­balls.

One woman walked up and down the line of­fer­ing $300 for a pair of tick­ets to the hotly an­tic­i­pated de­but — and sur­pris­ingly few seemed to have their in­ter­est piqued.

In­side the the­atre, an­other in­flat­able foot­ball bounced around the crowd be­fore a hoarse Franco took the mi­cro­phone to end the wait. “Of any movie that has played Mid­night Madness,” he bel­lowed, “this is the f--ing movie that should be play­ing Mid­night Madness!”

Unini­ti­ated? Don’t worry about it: 2003’s The Room was a bizarre indie drama about a doomed love tri­an­gle that starred and was writ­ten, di­rected, pro­duced and fi­nanced by Wiseau, an end­lessly ec­cen­tric showbiz out­sider with a thick and un­trace­able ac­cent, a mys­te­ri­ously bot­tom­less bank ac­count and a love of se­ri­ous drama.

Even­tu­ally, the film found an ap­pre­cia­tive au­di­ence and be­came a favourite of both mid­night movie buffs and celebri­ties, many of whom turn up in Franco’s starry, buzzed-about com­edy, which casts the Os­car nom­i­nee as Wiseau him­self and is based on a book of the same name by Wiseau’s co-star and real-life best friend, Greg Ses­tero.

Franco said he read Ses­tero’s book and felt “moved by th­ese out­sider artists try­ing to make it in a re­ally hard busi­ness.”

Though Franco was joined on­stage by brother Dave (who played Ses­tero), Ali­son Brie, Ari Graynor and Ses­tero, the star of the Q&A was Wiseau him­self, clad in a vest, tie, dress shirt and typ­i­cal ar­ray of belts.

Af­ter emerg­ing to swelling ap­plause, he in­tro­duced the rest of the cast and shot im­promptu ques­tions at them that they didn’t seem to know how to an­swer, like, “So what’chyou wanna say about Dis­as­ter Artist?”

A grin­ning Franco slid back and forth be­tween his spot-on por­trayal of Wiseau, re­call­ing Wiseau’s orig­i­nal re­ac­tion to the idea of Franco play­ing him: “Ah, James I see your stuff. You do some good things, some bad things.”

De­spite the way the movie re­lent­lessly pokes fun at pretty much ev­ery as­pect of Wiseau, he said he liked it “99.9 per cent,” ob­ject­ing only to the de­pic­tion of his throw­ing around a foot­ball. He seemed right­fully con­vinced the film would only help the cause of bring­ing eyes to his mis­take mas­ter­piece. “I love you all guys,” he told the crowd. “Thank you very much from the bottom of my heart.”

32% The Room’s To­matome­ter rat­ing on Rot­ten Toma­toes.

THE CANA­DIAN PRESS/HANDouT

Dave Franco as Greg Ses­tero and James Franco as Tommy Wiseau in The Dis­as­ter Artist.

Tommy Wiseau INvI­SIoN

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